Saturday, February 26, 2011

Complex Cloth : Flour Paste Resist adds Crackle Patterning

This is one fab in the process of soaking / rinsing out the flour paste resist. It's laying on the sink in my wet studio--a toasty 48 degrees down there!

I've been working on this project for a couple of months now. Last fall, Quilting Arts published a series of articles on resists from the kitchen. Jane Dunnewold also explains the technique in her Art Cloth / Complex Cloth books.

I mixed up 2 cups cold water with 2 cups flour (according to p. 117 of Jane Dunnewold's Art Cloth book). Then I spread it on several pieces of fabric I wanted to treat with crackles. The flour paste went on smoothly enough. I made sure not to spread it too thick. It dried for 2-3 weeks before I could get back to it.

This is one of the fabrics. They curled up like tofu skins after they dried. For this one, I tried to write a poem into the paste before it dried. I further crunched and distressed the dry paste on the fabric to make more cracks where the paint would seep through.

This is the same piece with purple acrylic paint applied over the dried flour paste.

I made up a batch of print paste, but it never really thickened up as much as it needed to in order to be effective. Here's where a teacher on site would have been helpful to tell me to add another Tablespoon of sodium alganate to thicken it up. I'd left it to sit over night hoping it would thicken, but it never really did--and I was running out of time! I only have the weekends to experiment and make messes like this. When I mixed in the dye, and began to paint it over the dry floured fabric, it immediately soaked through to the other side. No resist effect at all. That was when I switched to the acrylic paints with much better results :

You can barely make out the text I'd written into the flour paste. This was a piece of rusted fabric that I had over-dyed with Turqouise. Some of the turquoise seems to be fading with successive washings and treatments. I think it's just about done, though. Just 1 or 2 more layers to go!

Here are a few more shots. This one is with black acrylic paint :

Can you tell, I'm trying to re-create turquoise with these?

With purple acrylic paint :

The Sop Cloth from this season of dying.


Karen M said...

These are really beautiful. Isn't this a fun technique to play with? I've been doing a little also. It's so exciting to wash off the flour, and see what you get.

Karen S said...

This stuff is so cool!