Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rest in Peace, Rowenta Iron

Oops, make that RowentaS - plural - not just one but BOTH my Rowenta irons died over the past 48 hours, the one at home AND the one at my studio. It's actually pretty sad, they just stopped heating and then the water started to leak out at the bottom of each iron and pooled around them. Unexpected ka-ching. Replacing two at once will not be cheap and I don't like the less expensive brands I've tried. Consumer loyalty -- I hope the Rowenta people appreciate it!

My linear side made me do these samples of the dyes I want to use for the next group of pieces, so I can see how they react at every level of gradation. I got tired of this quite quickly because it involved a lot of measuring and then a lot of cleanup. However,the unexpected pinkosity steaming results from last time kept me on task! These are not steamed yet, but I will know soon exactly what happens as a particular dye color is diluted to a lighter and lighter shade. I'm going to do one more large sample by painting horizontal lines of each dye color crossed by vertical lines of the dye colors. That way I can see what results I can get, if any, as the dyes interact with each other.

The only way I could stick with doing the samples was to play a bit. I had several ideas for monoprinting a new length of cloth and tried out these ideas on paper.

Another break to try ripping and placing paper resists on the piece of cloth laying on my print table for when that sampling is complete. Are you beginning to notice that my attention is wandering?!?!

Attention, smention. My self-discipline breaks down and despite not having steamed the samples, I start to work on this fabric. I'll just do a little bit, I say to myself, and then get back to my samples, honest.....(the five year old comes out in me easily.)

Well, of course you know what comes next! I decide what the hey, this is experimentation at its finest and keep working.

This is a first layer, still wet here, but the shape and letters may develop into something that works.

But of course, there is still the steamer ahead and what surprises that may bring. I have altered some chemistry on this piece as well so now I'm using auxiliary in the print paste so when I mix up lighter values I keep the same ratio of auxiliary to dye.

So I did get the first set of samples done AND I got to try out several new ideas on this piece of cloth. BOTH sides of my brain ended the day happy!


  1. Beautiful! And you are so disciplined to do the samples....I would have had to find play in there too, or die of boredom, pun intended. ;o)

  2. Glad you like the way my playtime -- and my samples -- are shaping up! To be the ultimate scientist, I probably should rip the strips in half, steam half and leave the other as is, then compare and see how the two pieces compare. Is WYSWYG? I'm sampling in the first place because I haven't used the washfast acid dyes very much but love the fact that they have almost indefinite life spans. Since I use mainly silk in my work, a good product to get more knowledgeable about using!