I finished the fall farm painting yesterday (that is if I don't darken up any areas today) and if you read my blog post yesterday you know about the meltdown I had......alas such is the life of this artist anyway. I am not sure if I will steam it today or wait until the next painting is done and steam them together. One reason to steam right away is that the silk paintings are in an extremely fragile state until they are steamed. If any moisture gets on the painting at this point (such as a sweaty husband walking through the studio or fly poo landing on the silk) even one drop will cause a water mark in the dye.
As I have explained before the paintings tend to look a little dull and even muddy before they go through the 3 hour steaming process in the silk steamer. Once they are steamed the dye molecules join with the silk molecules and the surface dye is rinsed away. After washing the iridescent sheen of the silk comes back and the colors take on a brilliant reflective quality.