Monday, September 12, 2011

My Printmaking Project and I'm Finally Seeing Red.

As promised, here is my poorly-executed printmaking project. It's definitely better than my first one though. That means my next one will be flawless! (ha)

Today I spent most of my time prepping things for the workshop I'm assisting for this week. We have a visiting artist at my school, Janet Taylor, who was actually my surface design professor Amie's instructor when she was an undergrad. Janet came here to teach us about vat dyeing and taking out color while simultaneously adding a new color. I am beyond excited to learn about all of this!

One of the things I did to prep today was dye some silk for samples. I got to choose one of the colors, so I jumped at the chance to dye them red. I have a love/hate relationship with the color red. Red is my favorite color (my car's even red), but I have never successfully dyed something red. It always comes out pink, no matter how much dye I used or tweaked the ratios of color. I hadn't tried to dye red in over a year, so I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity as I would have not one, but two fibers artists over my shoulder who could help me.

Amie told me for about the millionth time that to get a good red, I should use a 1:1 ratio of scarlet and fuchsia MX dyes, and that I should use a lot. Janet agreed with this, and even though I swear I've done all of that before, but I did it anyway, hoping for a miracle. Well, no such luck. I was staring at hot pink once again in my dye bath. As I was admitting defeat, Janet came up and said that we weren't going to give up until we got it right. I took the silk out, and she added a good amount (about the same amount as one of the other dyes) of sun yellow. I was afraid it was going to be too orange, but to my delight after stirring it up and putting the silk back in, it appeared red! Real red, not pink-red!

And guess what? After washing the silk, it was still red!

I'm pretty sure my friends in my weaving class thought I was weird for running around showing everyone how red the fabric was, but I couldn't help it. I felt like my life was finally complete.

-- Laura