What’s new in my Batik Studio…

Well it’s been since last June that I worked on a Batik painting…Once my dad died, that was kinda it for the batik studio, between traveling for the summer and moving twice in a few months…and the baby…batik had been waiting for me…

I am back in the studio and here’s what I’m working on…

These are pictures from the process of making my own natural dye extracts. This process takes a while and makes me feel amazing! I could buy these dyes already extracted ready to paint with…however the process of extracting the dye from the plants is so far out, fun and cost effective for me.

Sometimes I weigh out my dye material and keep track of it so that I might ever be able to make that colour again. However, because I want my artwork to always be one of a kind I often don’t measure my plant material. I did start by following recipes religiously and I do suggest that method to all my students. Keep track of your recipes and your results, for a long time! Then when you have a sense of how to achieve what you want. well lighten up and try a few combos without a recipe. Guaranteed when you do that you will love the colour and be pretty frustrated you didn’t write down the recipe. it’s a win win or lose lose situation!

Anyway up above I made dye extract from Logwood and Madder without a recipe. I used Logwood at about 30% material to 100ml water. I used Madder at more like 75-100% material to 100ml water. Then I weighed out my Lac and used 20% dye material to 100ml water.  I will keep my colours seperate and only mix them in other jars. I used to measure how much dye extract I mixed to make all my colours, but now I mostly wing it.

I’ll shift all those colours to give me a wide range of reds, orange, purple and black. Some of my modifiers will be cream of tartar, soda ash (except this burnt my fabric once), iron, tums and alum acetate.

I’m in the process of pre-mordanting my fabric with alum so that the colours will be bright and lightfast.

Once my colours are made and the fabric has been mordanted I’m ready to go with paintings for my upcoming show in April 2017 at the Vancouver Island University in Powell River…Half the work for the show is finished and the other half will be made over the next few months.

It’s a really long process to make all my natural dyes extracts, paint with them, batik, iron out all the wax, steam set the dyes, frame them! I love every part of it!

Stoked for a new body of work to emerge.

In the meantime I’m painting with my old faithful dyes pre-made in a lab somewhere…

This is a fun one just to get started on some ideas…

Big Painting…

Big Painting after it’s first dye job.

Photo on the right is the alter where Phoenix’s toys are keeping older painting safe until they get their wax ironed out…


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