Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wait there's more!

I used the Sun Paint Kit for Kids by Klutz. Inside the kit were 3 mini bottle's of Pebeos Sun Colors in primary colours, a foam brush, a bandanna and very good set of instructions/ ideas that included colour mixing. I provided my own muslin squares precut into 16cm squares. The paint was surprisingly thick compared to the normal Pebeo Soleil paints and had to be diluted 1 part paint to 1-3 parts water. I eyeballed it and added more like 4-5 parts water which is why the colours aren't as vibrant as they should be. I taped the squares to a board which is why they have narrow borders. The squares were premoistened before washes of colour were added. I scattered (from top left down to bottom right) the following objects - scraps of yarn, leaves, feathers, foam net that you find wrapped around expensive fruit, grains of uncooked rice, paper fern cutouts, foamie alphabets and tiny seashells. The whole board was set out in the sun to dry and was ready by the time I finished Nola's choc biscuits and my first cup of cofee. I like the way the colours pooled around the edges of the objects. This was a very easy project and fun to do. I must get more paint (in larger bottles). I can see my kids wanting to join in the fun.

Monday, 23 February 2009

And still more sun printing

Prue's first sun print. You can see where it had the glass over the top, which obviously blocked out the light a little. This is an absolutely gorgeous piece of fabric and the photography does not do it justice at all.
Prue's second print. This one has an interesting effect from condensation on the glass. Again, you can see the distinct change of colour at the edge of the glass sheet.I'm not sure what was laid on this one.
Prue's third sun print - I think this one used opaque paints, including some of the Shimmer range. Despite Beverley's experience with opaque paints, we could not get successful prints using them. But the fabric is gorgeous and rich and shimmery, even if not very sun-printed.
Prue's fourth print. This one used rice as a resist, but it hasn't made a very clear print, perhaps again due to mixing in opaque paints, though the print may be clearer once it is ironed. The rice mostly gave a very delicate effect, though it was clearer on Carol's samples.

Sun printing again

We finally got some sun today, to do our sun printing. It really was the perfect day, sunny and warm, not too hot.

In my first print, I wanted to experiment with several different items I'd been saving for sun printing. I bought some cheap foam alphabet letters from the kids section of the supermarket, and I wanted to see what they looked like, as a way of adding text to my work. I also had some yarn snippets, some rubber bands and a plastic shape from packaging. Here's how it looks: It's kind of fun, though it's hard to imagine actually doing anything with this. Perhaps inspiration will strike me one day. However, it's quite an interesting and easy way to add text to fabric, and the textural effects from the rubber bands and yarn snippets are good too. The paints used were Setacolor Soleil, used wet on wet, but not diluted. The fabric was taped to a glass board for painting and drying.

My second print was onto one of my paint rags, which had splotches of paint, mostly blue, on it. I sloshed over some green Setacolor transparent paint, diluted about 1:1, wet on wet, and laid down a paper cut-out of a marguerite daisy from an earlier project. I'm very happy with how this turned out. The transparent paint allowed the previous colours to show through, and the sun printing effect was surprisingly clear on the daisy, since the fabric was laid anyhow straight onto the grass, and actually blew away at one stage.

My third print was also on a paint rag, which had uneven splotches of different colours, mostly red, blue and brown. It looked like this: Pretty boring, huh? I mixed some blue and yellow Setacolor Soleil to make an olive green - someone called it avocado but I think they were being polite! I wanted to see how the Soleil range of paints went over other paints. If I were a systematic (anal?) person, I'd know what those paints were. They're likely to be Setacolor paints, but they may be acrylics, with or without textile medium added. I added some ferns from Prue's garden, and a fairly heavy sprinkling of ordinary salt, through the middle. The result was this: Now this has possibilities! I was surprised to see that the Soleil behaved much like transparent paints over other media. The salt was not as obvious as the larger salt crystals but it gave a delicate speckled pattern to the middle of the fabric. On this one, I diluted the Soleil a little.

My final print was inspired by a serendipitous discovery by Prue. She had been using glass over her first prints (to follow) and it gave a distinct colour difference. We wondered aloud what effects other transparent media would give us. I sloshed some blue and green Soleil onto wet cream fabric, and laid down the marguerite daisy patterns (wish I'd had a third one!) and three transparent plastic drinking glasses. I didn't fill them with water, which might have been a useful strategy, as then they wouldn't have blown away, as two did. But the effect was this: Isn't that interesting? You can see where the bottom left one fell over. I wonder whether adding water to the cups would change the image?

I found this absurdly easy as a technique (assuming you have the required sunny day!), and something that offers a lot of possibilities for altering fabric in interesting ways.


Sunday, 22 February 2009


We have had all possible extremes of weather in various places in Australia lately. Usually, February in Sydney is hot, and it seemed a good time for our Fibrecircle group to plan some sunprinting. Well - it rained on the day we tried. But I had a solo attempt the other day, as I was determined. This is meant to be a mix of things, no particular design.

1. I rinsed the fabric, as it was new

2. still wet, I pegged it out over a plastic picnic basket lid. I was hoping that getting air underneath would help the paint dry

3. the fabric was still wet - then I sloshed on a mix, roughly 1 : 1 Setacolour opaque fabric paint and water - the green/ yellow base colour. 4. I'm lazy when it comes to mixing lots of little pots of colour. I used a couple of sponge brushes, about 1" wide, very wet, and tipped a tiny bit of the contrast colours onto the brushes, then dabbed them in various places on the fabric. The darker green, some gold, and oriental red were put on this way.

5. small seed pods, leaves, salt crystals, a piece of plastic mesh and a flannel flower were added.

The piece dried fairly quickly - sorry I can't be more exact - I went inside to have lunch!!

The flannel flower stuck in the wet paint, and gave the clearest image - the other shapes are very indistinct.

Of course, Setacolour makes a Soleil paint, specifically for this technique - it would be interesting to see if it gives clearer results, or is it just affected by how closely the shapes are to the fabric?

More experiments are sure to follow.

Oh - and my idea about using the picnic basket lid?? Well, it did help with the drying process, but the grid of the basket has transferred to the back of the fabric. There must be some effect from heat, as well as direct sun? or was there more shadow than I noticed? hmmm

Friday, 13 February 2009

Sun printing

Since last year, the group has been planning to do some sun printing on our first playday in February. (We missed one in January because of a public holiday.) What happened? After days of fierce sun and heat, it rained. It was a dark cloudy day, with showers, with the temperature in the low twenties Celsius. Rather than have everyone waste materials, I did a test run early in the day.

I wet a piece of pre-washed quilters muslin and sloshed on some Setacolor Soleil in three colours. Soleil is sun-sensitive paint, which is available in a number of colours. It didn't actually blend as well as I'd expected, despite being quite runny. I'm used to their textile paints, which do blend nicely when used wet-on-wet. So I had to encourage it a bit. I dripped on some yellow spots for interest. The fabric was on a glass cutting board that I generally use for monoprinting, so I could move it outside easily. I scattered over some bobbly seed pods from a tree to act as a resist, and laid over some onion bags and set it outside under the eaves. The process was successful, so obviously there was enough infrared light to make the process happen. You can see the faint marks left by the seed pods and, perhaps not in the photos, a fine mesh pattern in the corners where the onion bag was lying. But it took the fabric literally all day to dry, as we decided to postpone until next fortnight. I'd like to try the Setacolour transparent paints, which will apparently also give a sun print. If we can only have some sun...