Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leftover Oatmeal

Before Sandy and her friend have a chance to knock out our power, I thought I would show you the results of the oatmeal adventure.

This had been covered with the boiled oats.  Part of what I am discovering with these experiments is how heavily to paint the dye on--and what painting tool to use. If you paint too heavily, the dye wicks under the resist and you end up with very little pattern; too lightly and you get too much undyed space with again no texture. The bottom three-quarters was done with a foam brush and I like what happened there better than the top when I used a small synthetic bristle brush. Lisa Kerpoe recommends a larger--perhaps a 2 inch--brush that I did not have (but now I do, ready for the next experiment!). Those places where the oats clumped together and raised off the fabric produced either undyed spaces or large blots of dye.  But even those spaces with very little texture might come in handy, depending on what I am doing.

Here is the result of the mixture of boiled oats in the middle and microwaved on the rest. And you can easily tell where I used the paint brush this time. But there is a further experiment in this piece: I used dyes thickened with sodium alginate for all of these because of the danger of plain dye bleeding under the resist, but I wanted to see if that would indeed be a problem since the dye paste solution in Lisa's book was fairly weak. So the purple dye has no thickener and you can see how it spread out under the oats but there is still some texture and I rather like the effect.

And here is the microwaved oatmeal. I am still not sure about the colors I chose.  The orange is a bit too orange for me. I have definitely decided that erring on the side of too much dye is preferable to too little--and I am not using that brush again!  The texture is somewhat different from the boiled oats but I am not sure I prefer one to the other yet.  And as for the low texture spaces, I can always do what I did last summer and add a second resist on top of the first:
This was done with microwaved oats but I also soaked the fabric in soda ash first and let it dry before I smeared on the oats.  In my most recent round I actually followed the directions and added soda ash to the dye paste. 

And if you managed to hang in there for all four explanations, thanks for the company!

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