Someone wrote recently, inquiring about the soy wax dye pastes we introduced in January. She had questions about the colors not being as vivid as what we show on the website and wondered about the amount of steam or timing and pre-soaking her fabric. For those of you who don’t use dyes, in order for fiber reactive dye to bond to a fabric, there has to be a mordant or fixative. When a plant fiber, like cotton, is the fabric content, soda ash is used as the fixative. If a dye bath is the application of choice, soda ash goes into the dye bath. But if the application is painting or working with my soy wax crayons or pastes, then the fixative usually goes onto the fabric first. This is accomplished by soaking fabric in soda ash and water and then letting it dry.Read More
Welcome to my blog, Creative Civilization.
A lesson learned from one of the first sessions of Creative Strength Training:
“We are exploring being in community. A friend who is not part of this program commented to me over dinner that she avoids social media because people are so flippant, unthinking, and mean to each other when they aren’t face to face. I had to respond with the opinion that just the opposite has the potential to happen. If social media is the wave of future communications, it’s up to those who use it to be authentic, caring and vulnerable. We can craft an environment where people honor each other and themselves with their written and visual sharing.”
That’s what I choose to believe. So that’s why I’m blogging again. Starting now.
There are as many ways to approach the use of fiber reactive MX dyes as there are teachers offering dye workshops. Maybe that’s what makes Playful Fabric Printing such a valuable book. Gifted artists Carol Soderlund and Melanie Testa have together designed a consistent, doable system anyone can use to print MX dyes effectively and efficiently.
I love it when a detailed, well-constructed plan is disguised as play! Too often potential dyers are put off by the set-up, the waiting time, the challenge of color mixing–and we haven’t even begun to figure out designs. Soderlund and Testa cover it all and make it look easy. Before you know it, dyeing doesn’t seem so intimidating anymore. In fact, bring it on!Read More
Last week I was teaching in Nevada (USA) at Art Quilt Tahoe; housed in a no-nonsense Presbyterian Church camp on the shores of Lake Tahoe - a gorgeous alpine lake almost 7,000 feet above sea level.
The workshops are intense. Long days of exploration. An opportunity to abandon routine, make new friends and spend hours selfishly focussed inward. It’s not often artists (or others) are encouraged to forget the rest of the world and think only of themselves. Particularly hard for women of a certain age to embrace that plan.Read More