In other studio news, I've been doing low water immersion dyeing experiments again. Everybody has a different way of doing this -- different sequence of when to add the soda ash fixative, different amounts of dye powder per cup of water, different amount of liquid in each container, different lengths of time to batch or fix the dye. So I'm trying to find out what works best for me and produces the results I want.
Yesterday I dyed fat quarters of different types of cotton fabric, each piece rolled, folded or scrunched differently. I began with dry fabric, folded, scrunched, etc. and put in small plastic containers, poured different colors of dye over each one (about a cup of dye total for each container), let sit for 15 minutes, added soda ash/salt (1 tsp each to a cup of water), put a rock on each bundle to make sure it was immersed in the liquid, covered, and let stand for 24 hours.
I wasn't real happy with the results. Although the colors were very strong, there was little definition in the patterns. Some of the pieces I intend to discharge next time I do that. Two pieces I will print on later this week. Two turned out well enough.
Tomorrow my next experiment will be to add soda/salt liquid to the fabric before the dye, which should allow for better color definition because alot of the sites for dye molecules to attach to on the fabric will already be saturated with the soda/salt liquid. I'll also batch for alot less time -- probably just a couple of hours.
It's always amazing to me that regardless of how much information there is about how to do things, when all is said and done, we each have to find out what works for us. Because there's no one way to do anything, and innumerable variables to factor into the equation. And everybody's circumstances are just a little bit different.
So the personal experimentation is one of the joys of being an artist -- also one of the ongoing challenges!