Posts Tagged ‘vat dyeing’

Hitting the Restart Button

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Hi all,

I am back.  Our move out to California has had a much longer settle in time than I would ever have imagined possible.   My life was pretty much in a holding pattern for the first 3 1/2 months out here.  Among other challenges, I was never able to fully unpack and my dyeing workspace never materialized.  I don’t want to dwell on the drama of it, but we have moved for a second time.   We are now in a great place, my work areas are functional and I am ready to get on with living and making some art.

 

I had been working on cave pieces prior to all of this life upheaval, but am feeling very drawn to making things with nature images right now.  Making things that reconnect me to a feeling of peace seem just right.  I am busy screening pieces with vat dye and will steam my pieces at the end of the week.

 

Maine Pond (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

I have been spending time at a great local studio:  A Work of Heart and took a resin class.  I’ll be experimenting with using this new resin to incorporate mixed media into my pieces.  I’ll post pictures.

 

Dragonfly (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Thanks for sticking with me!

 

Tracy

SAQA One Foot Square Auction Begins!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) begins their annual fundraiser today!  This is a great opportunity to purchase some great art work and help a really wonderful organization at the same time.

How the Auction Works

There are 288 Benefit Auction quilts donated by our members. The SAQA 2010 Benefit Auction will begin on Monday, September 20th at 2:00 Eastern Time and conclude on Saturday, October 9 at 2:00 Eastern.

Last year’s Benefit Auction raised $47,325. The funds raised through the Auction are critical to supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs.

How the Auction works:

The Auction is run in three sections (Section 1 – Pages 1a and 1b; Section 2 – Pages 2a and 2b; Section 3 – Pages 3a and 3b).

On the first day of each section’s auction, the price for all pieces in that section is $750. The next day (at 2:00 Eastern), the price drops to $550. The third day, it drops to $350, then $250, then $150, and finally $75.

The first section will begin September 20th at 2:00 Eastern.
The second section will begin September 27th at 2:00 Eastern.
The third section will begin October 4th at 2:00 Eastern.

On another note, I’ve been vat dyeing again.  This one below was made from a Procion dye that I got from Dharma Trading Company called Mild Wing Sauce.  It was an oops dye they were selling at a great price.  It was screened with golden yellow and scarlet vat dyes.

Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

this one was created from another oops! Dharma dye called How Now Brown Cow.  I LOVE this color.  It was screened with scarlet vat dye as well.

More Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Vat Dyeing and Dramatic Toad Rescue

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Okay, the rescue wasn’t really all that dramatic.  I did a bit of vat dyeing today.  When I came down to the basement, I had some little toads staring at me through the window wells.  we’ve had rain of biblical proportions the past few weeks and these little guys got washed through the grates.  It seems to happen every time we have really heavy rains here.

Toads!

Toads!

I finally used a great silk screen that I made at a workshop with the fabulous  Barbara Schneider (I love her workshops!).  The effect was made by dribbling the design goop and letting it drip.  I love the effect.  Here it is on some hand dyed fabric.  I’ll be using this for my latest cave piece:

dribble screened vat dye

and here’s a scarf I screened vat dye on while I was at it:

vat dyed scarf

It’s all one screen, but different colors.

Another layer tomorrow!

Vat Dyeing Experiments-Day 2

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Hi all,

I was at the vat dyeing again yesterday; trying to increase my understanding of the process.  I had some interesting results. 

First, the fuscia dyed cotton.  I screened some turquoise and some indigo vat dye onto this and got similar results to the day before.  My conclusion is that pretty much everything discharges/vat dyes to the green/blue family from fuscia.  This was true of my samples as well.  It’s a pretty combination, so I’ll use it again.  I got the same yellow, somewhat blurred results from sky blue again.  Here is the fuscia cotton from yesterday:

Vat Dyed Cotton

Vat Dyed Cotton

Here’s a detail showing some of the blue:

Cotton detail

Cotton detail

 

Here’s the sample from the day before using skyblue and violet-not much difference.

day 1 sample

day 1 sample

 

I did make a a great discovery with my silk organza.  Tuesday’s sample discharged beautifully, but didn’t lay down any new color.  I thought this might have something to do with the material’s position in the steam bath.  Normally, all of the vat dyed fabric is loosely rolled inside of a piece of fabric and steamed (like a jelly roll); the vat dyed material is not directly exposed to the steam.  The steam has to penetrate through the sheet to reach the material; sometimes through a few layers of fabric if it’s on the inside of the jelly roll.  For my experiment, I decided to steam the organza outside of the sheet; meaning it was directly exposed to the steam.  The result was much more color laid down.  Still no haloing, but a definite improvement.  I screened grey on there and love the silver effect that I got.  I will try to replicate the results in the next session.

vat dyed silk organza

vat dyed silk organza

Here’s a detail:

Detail

Detail

 

This piece of organza was on the inside of the roll and it didn’t even discharge all that well.  No new color laid down; I may be on to something.  I have more organza that I will experiment with on Thursday and try to confirm my conclusions.  I use organza all the time in my pieces and would really love to get that haloing effect on the translucent fabric. 

more organza

more organza

ThursdayI will be adding another layer of vat dye to the scarves I did on day one and playing with these organza pieces some more.  I will take pictures of my set up and process to try to paint a clearer picture of things. 

Comments/discussion from anyone else working with vat dyes would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to know whether anyone has figured out any hard and fast rules with this process.  It seems fairly random to me right now!

Vat Dyeing Experiments-Day 1

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Yesterday was the first chance that I have had to experiment with the vat dyes that we made up at Barbara Schneider’s fabulous workshop.  I have more batches steaming as I write this, but here are my results from yesterday.  My results are really unpredictable.  I think I’ll be at this for quite a while before I can get results I expect with any consistency.  I dyed hand dyed cottons, silk organza and silk charmeuse.  All had been previously dyed with Procion MX dyes. 

The most disapointing results were on my silk organza.  I discharged beautifully, but didn’t lay down any new color whatsoever, despite having used 3 different colors.  I have a few more pieces in the steamer right now to see if this is a consistent result.  Here’s yesterday’s offering:

Procion MX dyed silk organza screened with vat dyes

Procion MX dyed silk organza screened with vat dyes

 The silk charmeuse had mixed results; both scarves had good color, but one haloed quite a bit more than the other.  I am wondering whether this is a function of where it is in the steamer.  The materials are rolled up and set in the steamer; maybe the proximity to the outside of the roll has an effect.  I’ll try to experiment more with this.  Here’s the first scarf.  The color is great, but not much haloing:

vat dye day 1 2

Here’s the other one with better haloing.  The the sky blue came out as yellow:

vat dye day 1  3

 

the cotton haloed the best, but I had a strange color reaction with the sky blue turning yellowish and blurring:

hand dyed cotton screened with vat dye

hand dyed cotton screened with vat dye

 

More experiment postings tomorrow!

Vat Dyeing Workshop with Barbara Schneider

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

We just can’t get enough of Barbara SchneiderShelley, Leah and I just did a fantastic one day workshop on vat dyeing with Barbara out at her house.  What a fantastic resource (as well as a great person!) she is.  She knows SO much and is so good at teaching it to others.  We accomplished quite a lot in one day.

 For those of you unfamiliar with vat dyeing.  It is a process that simultaneously removes color from a fabric and lays down new color at the same time.  This allows you to lay down a new, fresh color on previously dyed fabric that, unlike over dyeing with such as Procion, will NOT combine with the color already on the fabric.  Additionally, it leaves really cool halos around the new color.  The effects are simply stunning. 

We spent the morning mixing the vat dyes.  The dyes are suspended in a base of corn dextrin, glycerine and formusol-which smells a bit like you have hit a skunk.  These are  some serious chemicals, so we masked up. 

 

Shelley and Leah make a fashion statement

Shelley and Leah make a fashion statement

 

I had a pretty good look going myself:

Tracy, the fashion plate

Tracy, the fashion plate

We spent the morning mixing dyes.  The afternoon was spent creating sample strips and a few larger experiments.Here are some of Barbara’s samples of vat dyeing.  These are all vat dyed over already dyed fabrics.  Notice the clear colors?  The vat dyes will combine with each other; e.g. blue and yellow will still make green, but the dyes are independent of the original color.  See the beautiful colors around the vat dyes?  I love these! 
Barbara used a shibori technique (pole wrapping) over already dyed fabric.  Look at the great halos around the purple:
Barbara's vat dye shibori over already dyed fabric

Barbara's vat dye shibori over already dyed fabric

more of Barbara's vat dyed pieces over already hand dyed fabric

more of Barbara's vat dyed pieces over already hand dyed fabric

Notice how the purple and blue vat dyes combine, but they don’t combine with the original color.  Yum!

More:

more yummy vat dyes from Barbara

more yummy vat dyes from Barbara

This one didn’t really seem to lay down any new color, but discharged nicely:

discharged over black

discharged over black

This one didn’t really halo:

a more subtle vat dye

a more subtle vat dye

Here are our sample strips.  We used the same colors over a variety of fabrics, with incredible variation in results.  Some fabrics, like the blacks, discharged color to these lovely reds, but didn’t lay down any of the new color.

 

our samples

our samples

My fuscia dyed fabric discharged to the teal family.  I will definitely recreate that one. 

 

The velvet below discharged and laid down new color, but didn’t create any halos. 

 

my velvet vat dye experiment

my velvet vat dye experiment

Leah got some really beautiful halos on this silk scarf:

Leah's scarf

Leah's scarf

I need to locate a steamer to do this at home and I will be doing lots more experiments.  I LOVE the effects.

Any one else have any experience with vat dyeing?  I would love to hear about your results.