manipulation of the medium

I continue to exploit my materials for all they're worth. Once again I tried the soda ash/vinegar silk dyeing thing, this time using a black dye. Silk and Procion MX black dye don't work as planned--this version of black dye comes out as blue, grey, or orange. So I expected some variation from that. Doing strips of soda ash alternating with vinegar increased the variation--this time I can see the stripes formed, although they are subtle.

Just to mix things up, I put a piece of a silk curtain material I had picked up from a clearance bin underneath (and coated it with soda ash), the piece of silk, and then a layer of plain cotton cheesecloth on top (also treated with soda ash). All of this was on top of a garbage bag on my picnic table. Next I poured on a not very concentrated solution of the black dye. And rolled the whole thing up and left it sit for a day before washing it out.

There is no picture of just the cloth, but here it is with the beginnings of a design:

What I can't quite figure out is how just one corner got to be mostly rust colored. Serendipity I guess. This piece is quite large for me--around 25" tall by something like 75" long. I like the horizontal format. I think it reminds me of the woods in November--lots of greys, with a touch of color here and there where the leaves are still on a tree.

The other pieces are here are the other two pieces I dyed at the same time--the strips are the curtain silk, which came out really cool. The amorphous piece is the cheesecloth, which I stretched and deformed by pulling it about:

That's where the piece is at the moment. I think it will be heavily quilted, but I'm not sure whether anything else will be added. It's quite serene at the moment, I like that.

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