I started my first quarter challenge back at the beginning of February. I made a piece of nuno felt using black wool prefelt and white silk to make a canvas.
Finally the other day I decided to try out my idea on how to paint the canvas. I thickened some die with arrowroot powder. I was aiming for a paint like texture. I had never thickened dye before and I didn’t want to spend any money ordering something special. I looked up thickeners and arrowroot was the one recommended for acidic things. It is a very fine powder.
I added a little to each small batch of acid dye and heated it a little. The first one I heated too much and it was like vulcanised rubber in the bottom of the cup. lesson learned less powder and less heat.
I started with yellow.It wasn’t dribbling how I wanted so I thinned it down. I didn’t like that either it spread out too much. For the next 3 colours I poured it from the cups and moved them across the canvas quickly. That worked really well. Then I heated it in the microwave.
While I was doing this I realised I had not put any vinegar in the dye. I heated up some water and put it in a basin and when the canvas come out of the microwave I put it into the acidified water and heated it in the microwave a bit and let it cool. having to put it in the water bath blurred the lines a bit but the arrowroot made it stay put for the most part. as you can see the thickened yellow is what moved in to the water the most.
When I rinsed it and it felt really slimy. I thought I rinsed it well but it was harsh and stiff feeling when dry so I gave it a good wash with some shampoo. This is the finished piece. I think its very Pollock like.
I haven’t ironed it yet but I think I will and use the heat and steam to square it up.