Thursday, March 4, 2010

Progress on Custom Silk Order

I have been working on a custom project for use on stage by a magician/filmmaker . There are 8 pieces, four with words that are 36 x 36 and four with images that will be 55 x 55. I decided to tackle the 36 x 36 lettered pieces first since I knew space would be tight in my studio for both sizes.
In the photo above I have already ironed and lettered 2 of the silks with quilters water soluble pencil. I am applying resist to the silk in the stretcher. After the resist has been applied I will let it sit overnight and since I use a heat  activated resist I will steam it in the silk steamer for an hour to set the resist.

The painting in the stretcher has had the resist applied and gone through its first steaming. I painted in the black dye and will let that sit over night. After the dye is applied the silk will be rolled and steamed a second time for 2 hours. The paintings on the line have had the resist applied and are each waiting to be steamed. Because of their size, and the fact that I am using my small steamer until Don completes building me a larger one, I am rolling and steaming them one at a time so it is a time consuming process. I am finding that I need to recut and size new steaming paper for each steaming so that the resist that bleeds off onto the paper does not stain the white background on the next piece of silk I steam.

So far the project has been a bit of a challenge for my back and that is just the 36 x 36 size. The 55 x 55 size will prove to be very interesting in terms of studio space and back tolerance. The sumi brushes have a nasty habit of flicking tiny specks of dye and on a pristine white background that spells disaster so I am keeping a cup of rubbing alcohol nearby with a Q-Tip so I can quickly apply it to any specks of black dye that show up.

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