Saturday, October 27, 2012

Building a Steamer for Dyed Fabrics, Part 2

We have finished constructing the steamer for me to use to complete the dyeing process when I am using my Procion dyes (and this will be good for silk dyeing as well).  This first picture shows the inner core.  I will wrap my dyed cloth in newsprint and then wrap it around this inner core.  The core is covered with cheesecloth and my guy was careful to cut off all the sharp bits of metal.  The cheesecloth is just further assurance that no scratchy bits will get in the way of the fabric, or my fingers!!  The outer tube is made of chimney stove pipe and the seams are covered with a metallic tape that I understand will be waterproof and will keep the steam in.  I'll set these two pieces, with the dyed fabric around the core, on top of the wire-covered spring-form pan into the canning kettle (see my last post) and add water to the kettle.  I'll cover the top with a towel and then the canning lid and set it all atop the heating element.  I'll be trying it out in a couple of days, so I'll report back at that time.
In the meantime, here are a few images of some watercolour pictures I have completed at the course I am taking at a nearby art school  The teacher has been gracious enough to let me use my own pen and ink style, the same one that I am using on fabric.  This way the class nicely complements what I am trying to achieve with my own designs.  I am very happy to have the drawing and painting instruction and I think it is going to be a fun class.  The teacher is a very talented watercolourist and her own botanical paintings are exquisite.  Check out some of her work at    

This last shot is out of order because I had originally set it to post as the second pic in this series but only half the image came up (I know how it feels!!) so here it is at the end of my post.  It shows the cheesecloth covered inner core of the steamer (sewn with a mattress needle that I found amongst some old needles that belonged to my mother) and the top of the stovepipe.  I'll report back when I've tried it all out.
Back soon.....

Friday, October 19, 2012

Building a Steamer for Dyed Fabrics

I haven't been doing much art lately so haven't had much to show you.  Sorry about that.

However, we have been building a steamer for my dyed fabrics using the directions from Jean Dunnewold and Lisa Kerpoe's bookon Vibrant Colour (I'll get the complete title for my next post).  I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but I can't wait.  The resulting colours are supposed to be much more vibrant.  Certainly, it will make the removal of the soy wax much easier and so much better for my drain pipes!!   You can see the various bits and pieces in the first shot and then the platform to raise the unit above the water in the second shot.  More pictures and more information for you next time.

 In the meantime, my guy is getting himself organized for his winter trip to warmer climes.  And I am getting organized to spend the winter devoting myself to various art endeavours.  I have started a watercolour class at one of our local art schools and am taking an on-line class with Lesley Riley (for which I will provide a link in the next post as well.....clearly I am not as organized as I had hoped!!)  I am trying to spend some time drawing every day and I want to do some painting every day as well.   I am babysitting quite a lot and we've been doing lots of walks. The rain has arrived at last and the fall season is upon us.  It is all very beautiful.

My guy leaves in a week and then I'll be back.  I promise!

Monday, October 1, 2012

(A) Little Chair Stitching

I have started stitching on the little chair quilt.  I have stitched the chair onto the piece and have begun the hand stitching.  It always seems to take such a long time to decide what I'm going to put where.  I have to look at the piece and consider what, where and how.  All part of the process I guess.  And I don't dislike the process at all.  But it does seem to have to come from deep down.

I wonder if that ever changes.

I'll be back.....