Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Left To The Elements

Swimmin' hole and old dock at the "ranch". Perfect for yardage and dryng.

Spring and summer have been quite cold and wet this year presenting a challenge
when working with longer yardage and mixed paper casts pieces because of drying times. The pieces like "Hive" need the heat to dry without crumbling or molding.

I had this fantasy of setting all this up in the normally hot summer studio and on my low roof in the house. But time is getting on here!

Taking a drive to Cache Creek or Princeton might be a good idea. It is always hot and dry there.
I can pre-prep the paper, store it in buckets and get the components completely ready, drive out there and set up a some plywood work tables.

Dyes seem to work better when its warm out. Lots of natural dye plants are available and work best when fresh in the summer. Silk painting and printing definitely are brighter.

But silk screening can be a drag in the heat with the print mediums and emulsions . The screens can really clog up because they dry so quickly. Some of the mediums create a crust when used for hand painting and things look perfectly dry and end up smearing when you are trying to heat set. Haven't found a medium extender to slow the drying process on cloth.

Silliness for today is to figure out how to use discharge paste on a 10 yard length. Time to refer to Jane Dunnewold's great book Art Cloth. Rinsing long yardage after all the processes is challenging.

I wonder how many salmon would die if I made a trip over to the river and let it rinse in the current. The dye goes back to the water system in the long run. People do it all over the world.
Anthea Mallinson, dyer extraordinaire, figured out that she could use one of those inflatable back yard swimming pools as a place to rinse long yardage.

My beautiful old claw foot bathtub has been dyed many colours. It always looks grungy from the abuse it has taken. I have two old laundry tubs under the porch that are great to use if I am in the mood to haul water.

The "ranch" needs to happen. The barn is huge and I can set up layers of drying racks and even make a large dehydrator. Or just use the sauna! Everything needed there including the river!

Just a few thoughts for this morning. And maybe I should give up doing impossible lengths and just do some piecing!

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