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!
This book addresses the creation of repeat patterns, provides a formulaic approach to mixing colors, shows readers how to use the three basic tools of surface design–stamping, stenciling and small scale screen printing via the Thermofax–and has a host of useful charts in the Appendix. The pictures are yummy and both artists’ personalities infuse the book with the sort of positive energy you’d feel if you were working in a studio with them.
I might quibble with some of their approaches–after all, I’m one of the colleagues who’s been offering workshops for years, but I applaud Carol and Melly for designing an accessible, accurate system, which is written in easy to understand terminology and beautifully illustrated. And here’s to Pokey Bolton for pulling it all together. The book is a keeper for any dyer’s bookshelf, but especially for anyone who’s just beginning and needs to know how to do this right.
I liked the book so much, I'd like to share one with you! We’ll give one away on February 15th and you can enter leaving a comment on this blog post answering the question: