Sunday, April 12, 2015

ATASDA - March Meeting

Despite renewed energy at the beginning of the year, I'm afraid I've still been very slack with the blog posts, but its not for the lack of enthusiasm, I think about it often, but time seems to run away from me. Anyway, enough of the excuses.  I must catch up on what's been happening at the ATASDA group in WA.  Our March meeting was a great turn out with everyone very enthusiastic about trying our hands at Sun Dyeing.
Despite playing around quite a lot with dyes during my City and Guilds studies I never got around to trying the sun dyeing which I'm quite sad about because the possibilities are endless. 
I think I'd always been afraid to try it because I thought it always had to be done with the special sun dyes and I was a bit loath to pay a fortune for a product that I wasn't sure I'd use again.  This workshop changed all that - we used acrylic paints instead!  As long as they were watered down to about a 50/50 ratio they worked fine and didn't leave the fabric too stiff afterwards. 
The weather was a perfect summers day and the fabrics dried in time for us to take them home, the only downside was that it was such a bright day it created a lot of shadows and unless the sun was directly over the motifs it could distort the shapes and patterns intended.  I don't think anyone was too disappointed though, as there were lots of brilliant pieces created. 
Some chose to lay a sheet of perspex over the motifs to hold them in place, and as it was such a hot day this created condensation underneath the perspex sheet which added another interesting effect to the finished pieces. 
I haven't as yet seen what everyone has done with the fabrics they made, but I was so enthused by it all that I decided to have a play day at home a few days later. 
You can use any motifs you want - I used sequin scrim and washers on the one above, and wooden stencils, dragonfly embellishments, leaves and a sprinkling of salt for the one below. 
For the samples at home I did use some Dyn-a-flow inks which I had in my stash and was pleased with the finish, the fabric was softer than the acrylic paints, but a lot of dye washed out and they didn't turn out as strong in colour, despite heat setting them beforehand. 

When you set your mind to something like this its surprising how many things you can use - such as this plastic stencil 
And this one was washers, paper clips and the smaller dots were created using lentils! 
For this one I scattered different sized buttons all over the fabric - you can see what I mean about the angle of the sun and the shadow on this one - some of the buttons have a blurry edge. 
This one is my favourite, created using a plastic leaf patterned stencil.  I'm waiting for inspiration to jump up and smack me before I dare do anything with the fabrics, but one day I'll have just the right piece to use.