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Third Quarter Challenge Coming Along.

Third Quarter Challenge Coming Along.

I showed you a blank canvas last time.

I have finally moved forward from there.  It was a slow start. I had a hard time finding a lightweight dissolvable stabilizer. But I did in the end.

Step one was to trace my pattern onto the stabilizer.

I did the rivers first and then the roads. I had to spin some yellow for the roads. I thought it would be easier to use then roving for that part.

I did the rivers first because the roads go over them.

I got the major roads done.

Next, are the secondary roads. That’s all that shows form this level of zoom. I think I will put them in with thread and outline the whole city in red. Hopefully, by my next post, that will be done. once I am finished I can move onto the fourth quarter challenge and get it done in time.

I’ve Definitely Been Challenged!

I’ve Definitely Been Challenged!

I have written earlier about the Third Quarter Challenge which is based on the Japanese Edo period. Once to show you the design I developed to use and the other to show you the felt I created.  Then I showed you the disaster that included stitching and cutting out of the resist. I wasn’t happy with the results so I decided to start over. What could go wrong?

I decided that I would make a silk screen with matte vinyl fuse. Then I could silk screen the design on to the previously dyed silk and then nuno felt the design. (If you’re interested in learning how to make this type of silk screen, it is included in my online class Experimental Silk Screening.) At our recent art retreat, I made up some really dark violet thickened dye and screened it over the silk. It looked perfect. I used Procion dye and soda ash to set it. Then, once home I washed it out in preparation for felting it.

And every single bit of dye disappeared! Nothing was left at all. Arghh! I have since decided it was due to the fact that this is very thin silk and has been previously dyed and it just wasn’t going to take any more dye. Sigh.

I have to tell you that I was discouraged. I had to go to my Art & Design class I really didn’t have time for this setback. But if nothing else, I have perseverance (AKA stubbornness). So one more try.

I decided I would just screen print with acrylic paint mixed with screen printing medium. So that is what I did. The paint once dry wouldn’t disappear with application of water. So with a little bit of a different color, more maroon this time, I screened the silk.

I laid out some pink Merino that Karen from Big Sky Fiberarts gave me a while ago. I made it fairly thick because I didn’t want a lot of shrinkage and especially with nuno felting, less wool equals more shrinkage and distortion of the silk.

So here’s the wool layout with the silk on top. I proceeded with felting and the design finally did what I wanted it to do. It didn’t disappear and it pretty much kept it’s shape.

Here’s a poor photo of the piece after felting while still wet.

I think if I never saw this design again, I wouldn’t mind. To say the least, this was quite a challenge. I am not sure what I am going to do with this piece of felt yet but for now, I’m just happy it’s finished. I also have found it interesting that many people think this is a Celtic design. I guess that many ancient designs have a similar feel but this one is based on the Japanese Edo period. And I finished before the end of the third quarter, I think it’s a miracle!

2015 Third Quarter Challenge

2015 Third Quarter Challenge

In keeping with our color theme for the year, this third quarter challenge is related to dyeing and blending from a picture using a color generator, then use the colors in a project.

We’ve had a very wet, cool spring so I chose a picture of a sunset at a Poipu beach on the island of Kauai where it was perfect summer weather. Thinking Spring/Summer!

I tried a few color generators  but settled on these two: and

Here is the original picture:

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Then with the Adobe file:

Sunset Adobe

And the Palettefx view:

Hawaii sunset

I decided to dye some Icelandic roving with the three primary yellow oranges in the Adobe picture.   The colors at each end and in the middle. Let the mixing begin!

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Using a printout of the Adobe pic, I used my acid dyes which were already prepared and mixed each color using what I thought would come closest.  It’s really hard to tell from the color of the mix so I used coffee filters to write my formula and drop a sample at each stage.  It still wasn’t showing a huge difference.  I had already prepared the fiber, soaking it in vinegar water so I was ready to dye and hoped it worked.

I started with the middle color which the generator marked as base, then the color on the right, then the left.

Since I only have an induction stovetop in my work area, I wanted to do all the dyeing at once. So, I used zip bags and steamed them together in a large pot.

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After steaming them for 30 minutes, I left the bags overnight to cool. The next morning I opened each one and was surprised that the roving was mottled.

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Once the roving was rinsed and dried, I ran each through the drum carder.

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The blended batts weren’t exactly the colors I had wanted, so I took it once step further and started blending the batts with more roving to try to get the colors I needed.

2015-06-28 15.46.44Much better.

2015-06-28 15.49.17You can see the  blended colors were closer to the samples I had made with the dye.  Go figure.  I guess the white filter paper may have lightened them up.

Here is the progression:

2015-06-17 14.30.03 2015-06-17 15.31.14Number 1 (in the center) the formula was one tablespoon each red and orange, one drop blue and 2 drops black in one cup water.

Number 2 (on the right) –3 tablespoons red, 1 yellow, 1 drop black and 15 drops blue.

Number 3 (on the left) 3 tablespoons yellow, 1 red.

When I carded them I added white , black or blue to lighten or darken or mute the color.  I just adding until I thought the color was close enough.  There is no contest here, just satisfy yourself the color is close enough.

I really liked the purple and gray in the PaletteX picture.  I had some merino close to the colors so I carded the purple with white to lighten and black to darken and yellow to mute.  Then I had some steel gray merino that matched the gray.

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Now, what to make?  After a lot of thought, I decided to make an Ipad cover.  I didn’t want to replicate the picture just use these colors to to give the impression of a sunset.

I made the resist using a 30% shrinkage rate, then covered the resist with hand dyed silk habatoi added a later of gold merino I had dyed a couple of weeks ago.  The next layer was white Corriedale.

2015-06-26 11.33.14 2015-06-26 11.55.20 The final layer was the design using the colors I had just dyed and carded.

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The inside ruched nicely and even mirrored the design on the outside.

Then in went the Ipad.

2015-06-28 15.56.05It is slightly larger than the Ipad.  When I calculated the shrinkage, I based it on Merino shrinkage not Icelandic.  But its okay since I can put in a pen and stylus.

So, for the challenge you can pick a picture and decide which colors you’d like to use, then dye/and or blend roving to get your colors.  There is no set number. I just got carried away. Then use them in a project of your choice – wet felting, needle felting, spinning, etc. Whatever, you’re comfortable doing.

This was challenging for me, but I learned  about color mixing and blending and just what the eye sees.  Of course, the printed version and screen version may also be different.  Just have fun with it!

I look forward to seeing your challenge pieces on the forum.


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