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 www.foxglove.ca
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.