Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Today I returned to Page 3 -- when I headed south a week ago, I had completed stitching about half the sheer black letter shapes down to the water soluble sandwich -- so I stitched the rest down today. Here it is with all the black letters stitched on and the water soluble still covering the whole surface. After I took this photo it was time for the Moment of Truth. I immersed the fabrics in water and washed away all the water soluble.
I threw the whole piece in the kitchen sink, filled it up with water and also used the sprayer to melt some of the water soluble more quickly. After rinsing the fabric a number of times, I soaked it for a while to make sure I had gotten most of the glue washed away. Then I hung the piece to dry; when it was just still slightly damp, I started ironing. Ironing these takes a long time, since each little rectangle tends to want to fold over rather than lie flat.
This is where I'd love to be able to ooh and aah and show you closeups of the piece, but unfortunately, some of the sheer black silk I used for the letters started shredding after being washed. The black fabric, even though I prewashed it, still bled on some areas of the white pages, but I rather like the bluish tint it creates. My idea to stitch the sleeve to the piece BEFORE washing the water soluble away didn't work. The sleeve needs to come off and be redone, so the piece is still not finished. I'll work the bugs out of it and it will look lovely hanging with the other Pages pieces, but not tomorrow -- for the moment I don't want to deal with it anymore. My eyes need a break so I'll head up to my dye studio tomorrow and add more layers to the piece of cloth that is waiting there for me that had a dye washout problem. Thrills and spills, thrills and spills, folks -- that's the name of this surface design game.

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