Monday, October 5, 2009

Suminagashi

In a recent edition of the Dick Blick Educator Catalog, I saw a tutorial for something called Suminagashi Monoprints. Suminagashi, a Japanese word that translates as "spilled ink," is traditionally done on paper, and it's kind of like marbling. But instead of paint and marbling chemicals, it uses sumi ink, which is made from vegetable oil soot. I was intrigued and wanted to try it on fabric. So I ordered some of the sumi ink, which, incidentally, is very inexpensive.

So I finally tried it today. This is how it works: in a big pan of water about 1/2" deep, with a soft brush lay the ink on top of the water, and swirl it with the brush or with something else. Lay fabric on top for about 10 seconds, then lift the wet fabric off and lay it on newspaper to dry. That's all there it to it.

Yesterday I prepared some fabric with Bubble Jet Set, assuming that the sumi ink would be akin to dye-based inkjet ink. The first three prints shown here were done on the BJS treated fabric. This morning I reasoned that because the sumi ink is made from vegetable oil soot, it's probably more like a pigment ink, therefore I probably wouldn't need BJS. So I also printed some muslin without the BJS to try it out. Although the ink finished as permanent in either case, I like the prints better with BJS.

These last two photos are Suminagashi done on linen, without BJS. They turned out really well.

In the tutorial I mentioned, it says you can add color to the water plate with oil paint thinned with linseed oil. I didn't have any oil paint in the house and anyway, I was most intrigued with the black and white prints. But there's obviously a lot of potential for creating really unique patterned fabric with this method.

9 comments:

Jan said...

These are quite magical, just like the process.

Approachable Art said...

I took a week-long retreat to a folk school last year to learn how to do this. Alum is usually the mordant of choice for fabric and paper marbling, particularly if you're going to wash the fabrics.

I fell in love with marbling, particularly the deceptively simply yet complex appearing Suminagashi.

Beautiful results!! :D

Gerrie said...

I like these - especially on the linen. I think it would be interesting to use predyed fabric, too.

tiedyejudy said...

Beautiful, Connie! Uh-oh... another obsession is born! Why not? You only go around once... might as well grab all the gusto you can! Can't wait to see some of this quilted...

Connie Rose said...

Thanks, all!

Mandi said...

OMG. Totally amazing and beautiful. I am going to spend hours online now trying to get some info to do it myself. I can hardly wait to see what you'll do with these!

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Your work is so amazing and inspiring. I only came across your blog last week, but so far I love everything I see! I had to tell you!

Carolyn

katherinesands said...

Yummm! Wonderful!

dye diana dye said...

What possibilities! Thanks for sharing, these are gorgeous.