All is not lost…

After the “weekend of stupid mistakes” I thought I’d soothe my soul with a little “abstract” batik. Sometimes it’s nice to just throw some wax. Splatter, dribble, brush, and yes throw the wax. My basement wall is a mess now :-)

I was starting to pontificate over how I’ve come around to liking art that isn’t just the realist painters, and so on, but it was getting too heady and stuffy sounding. Dang it, I just like color. And sometimes it’s just fun to play with color in whatever way strikes you. Monday, I just wanted to play with the colors, and see what happened. The result is below.

There was a vague plan for this scarf. It’s a little lighter than what I wanted, but that’s because I accidentally baked it. Etsy friends….see thread here. And clearly- it didn’t burn. I think the smell was the wax. I also don’t think the oven was on as long as I thought. Anyhoo… here’s the blue version : (The light is not great, I haven’t really futzed around with color correction because I wasn’t shooting this for the shop. Just to share with you all.)

Blue Batik Scarf

And all stretched out:

Blue Batik detail

I had fun. There was ego soothing over my public goofing up my other scarf with such newbie type mistakes. This one didn’t get burnt to a crisp. (though it was pretty dark when I unwrapped it). Happy little dyer I am! Sometimes it’s just fun to throw some wax.

Cherry blossoms, Part 2: uh-oh

Let me preface this next post with:

While I’m not a lifelong dyer, I have been doing this long enough and intensely enough over the last few years that the mistakes that are about to play out were pretty dumb. As much I’d like to blame it on the late night, which is the only time I can really work on these things, this really was more a combination of impatience, inattention to detail, and yeah, alot of fatigue.

Okay, that said…onward to the branch disaster… (if you haven’t- read the post that leads up to this here: )

The scarf was batiked, and the background sprayed with pale to deep rosey pink dye. Since it is silk, I’m sticking with acid processing. Sounds scary but it just means the PH of the dye is acidic -I use citric acid crystals. There were 2 colors of concentrated dye stock, and a big bottle of acidic water for me to mix them with. When steamed, it will render the colors permanent.

For the branches, I grab bottle of black silk dye. I have used this kind of dye with the other backgrounds before, and it has worked fine, since it is essentially an acid dye. I dilute the black, do a few test strokes on some other silk, and I’m good to go.

Cherry Blossom scarf

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Cherry blossoms everywhere: a work in progress.

It must be the weather.  But I cannot get cherry blossoms out of my head.  I have been mulling over the idea of using batik this way since last summer.  I had tried a few samples just hand painting them on swatches of silk, but wasn’t happy with the results.  I really wanted the flowers to pop.  So,  I filed it away for a while.

This weekend, with a need to use up some dyestock before it got too old, I started.

Starting with 16mm silk charmeuse scarf, it was stretched on the handy dandy frame.  Using soy wax and a cheap sumi brush I started dotting away.


On the right you can see the wax on white silk.  There is a light layer of pink that I put down.  Light is not great here, but you get the idea.

The left is the next layer of a deeper pink.  I stopped just to shoot a few “in progress” pics.


And finally…the rest of the deeper rose pink.


After a good night’s rest, “Part Two: Branches”.  But that’ll have to be tomorrow.