I have been continuing to play with my next piece, albeit slowly, and have started to sample the 'floor' part of the piece. I am wanting to learn more about painting with thickened dyes so this is more a case of documenting my progress so far, and you get to come along too! I stretched a piece of soda-soaked cotton onto a frame. I had previously used my light box to draw the image onto the cotton and I used Derwent Inktense pencils to do this. I thought that if nothing else, the lines would disappear under the dyes and not be visible in the end and this in fact was the case. That part worked really well. I mixed the (room temperature) procion dyes with the thickened alginate (manutex) and thinned it with chemical water. In this case, I mixed 2 tablespoons of urea into a cup of hot water and poured this into a plastic container with a squirt lid then let the mixture cool. (The urea is a humectant and I thought it would help to keep the fabric damp, since the procion won't continue to fix if it dries out. This mix has more urea in it that one might normally need, but I will keep it separate and use it only for dye painting.) I put a piece of plastic underneath the frame to help keep it moist as well. (You have to remember however, that I don't live in a particularly dry part of the world, so that helps as well, but I was painting inside, so there was some control there. It was a sunny day, but not too hot.)
As a side note, and also just to satisfy my own curiosity, I have been keeping a running tally on the hours I am spending on this project. So far, I'm at 8, including such things as mixing dyes and rinsing fabrics. It adds up, doesn't it? I'll let you know how it adds up as I go along, mostly because I'm curious.
If anybody out there has any thoughts to offer on all this, I'd be thrilled to hear from you.
More fun to follow....I'll be back.