Monday, July 13, 2009

Gel Discharge

I never had much luck before now using automatic dishwasher gel to discharge fabric. I'm sure that's because I had only been using it on commercial black fabrics. So today I experimented with the gel on recently LWI dyed fabrics and here are some of my results. Some of the most promising, anyway.

I actually tried nine different application techniques ~

  • on a crunched up piece of aluminium foil
  • on a wadded up piece of wax paper
  • applied to a handcut rubber stamp (photo above)
  • through a deconstructed screen (last photo below)
  • rollered onto fabric with a corrugated foam roller (second piece, just below)
  • monoprint from gel brayered on glass plate
  • applied to edges of folded and tied shibori piece
  • writing with bleach gel pen
  • drawing with bleach gel pen
The techniques that produced the best results for me, that I'll definitely do again with more intent, are deconstructed screening, rollering, and the shibori application. Although the stamped discharged images turned out to be one of the best finished pieces in this batch, as I've been discovering over and over again recently, I prefer more organic forms and shapes than multiple stamped images.

This piece above is still pretty dark and I intend to do another discharge on top of it. I think I'll add a bit of water -- or perhaps print paste -- to the gel next time I screen print with it, to give the gel enough body to force a good print through.

The gel also needs to be thinned to produce good results for shibori, the way I applied it to the edges of a folded piece. I liked what I got today, there just weren't enough discharged areas for my taste.

A caveat ~ I'm still not ecstatic about any of these pieces because the colors are pretty strange for me. But they sure provided ample opportunity to try some new techniques, and decide which ones I want to go forward with at a later date.


Gerrie said...

Well, I like all of these.

Rayna said...

I'll take the second one! Wonderful combination of colors. I hope you put these in anti-chlor. Yummy.

Unknown said...

i enjoy watching you experiment with all these new techniques. are you having fun too?

stop by my blog for a little lemonade..

Michele/TextileTraveler said...

Very nice pieces! I use SoftScrub with bleach and have been very happy with it; I particularly like the way the slow bleaching process gives me a lot of control over how much bleaching occurs. Thanks for sharing!