i’ve got soda ash in the container wit the test strip, so now it’s sit and wait.
nothing ever turns out how you plan it.
i was going for light purple on the bottom and rich yellow orange woth black. looking to get browns in the overdye. dharma fiber reactive dye powders.
but when i mixed up the first batch of dye, salt and water, it was way red – 2 heaping forks of yellow and a little shake of magenta and the thing was like bright scarlet when i poured it into the coffee pot i am using to dye my test strip. and there it sits, curing for the 2nd time.
i left it curing overnight, the 1st time, those varying strips of purple, some already set and some i did just before coming upstairs for the night.
this morning i got the test strip out of the plastic and came up here and rinsed it in vinegar and water, then ironed it dry because i’ impatient.
then i took it downstairs and stuck it on the plastic and lit a candle and dripped hot wax all over it, a drop at a time. at first the drops were huge, but i learned to shake the candle to produce smaller drops, and soon i was pretty much trying to shake the candle out, getting drops on my test strip. i had to blow it out in the end. ferocious once it was good and flamed.
then i found a coffee pot and crammed the dripped-on canvas into it, the wax was stil warm, then mixed up what i figured would be a nice strong lemon yellow with a small spoonful of magenta. but i had to add some more yellow after i’d mixed it up a little, and still when i poured it on it was scarlet red i’m telling you. and strong, too. 4 tablespoonsfull of dye to a cup of wam water with a couple of tablespoons of salt in it. all this over a 6 inch by 5 foot strip of canvas.
then i mixed up a quarter cup of 2 tablespoons of yellow, and dumped that concentrated, grainy sludge on top of the red. then i put a half teaspoon of black with a tablespoon of salt and made it into the smallest amount of liquid, eighth of a cup, and poured it over the yellow.
so then i had to wait for the colors to work themselves thru the fabric, tho it was pretty much covered with dye liquid at this point.
so i spent some time down there cleaning up. finishing reclaiming the place from my houseguest, may he rest in peace. i cleaned up all the stuff in and by the sink.
washing art studio stuff isn’t just like washing kitchen stff. it’s not meant for food, but everything in the studio is capable of being made squeaky clean so you can store stuff, so everything collects stains and paint blotches and dings and then collects on the side of the sink, empty, but probably toxic, and needing to be dealt with properly.
so i did the dishes. 20 plastic bottles, 15 plastic caps, plates, glasses, mugs, silverware, plastic forks (note to self bring down more spoons from the kitchen). it took about an hour.
then i went back and inspected the fabric, which had soaked up more of the liquid, and probably swelled some. don’t know much about chemistry. i mixed up a couple of teaspoons of soda ash into a cup with hot water, and poured it over the canvas. it completely covered the fabric, so i just pulled the plastic over the top of the coffee pot and am now letting it sit downstairs while i’m up here messing with my computer.
good thing my 5 foot square piece of canvas is going to be dyed in one fell swoop, rather than sections, because i have so little control over the elements of this process. obviously i know nothing about mixing dyes, or i’m going about it like a swashbuckling pirate and slashing dye here an there expecting sparks and flames and general astonishment. obviously the salt technique, so fulfilling in lightweight silk, is rudimentary on heavy duck canvas. i’m just hoping i can still dye something reddish purple and then overdye it orange and still come out with a nice brown.
because after today’s dyeing attempt on the test strip, i’m unfolding my 5 foot square piece of washed and shrunk artist canvas. ready or not.