Easy Batik – the verdict!


Some little while ago I got all buzzed up about an idea to do some batik. A trawl through the web came up with Dylon Easy Batik and as I couldn’t resist (HA! geddit!!) giving it a go.

I have to say firstly, it is a lot of fun.

With the consistency of cream (shake well – I forgot one time and it does separate unshaken), it paints on nicely. I was using cotton sheeting, and found it absorbed and spread, so even the finest lines came out a bit chunky. In that sense it’s limited in comparison to real batik, but something to build into the design I guess. The other main difference is that unlike batik wax it is flexible when it’s dry, so none of that lovely crackle effect. But other fabrics need testing on!

First easy batik doodles!

This is the underside of a freshly dye-painted sample. The eagle eyed amongst you might notice the batik-stuff appears speckled. It isn’t. This only happens if you use a fluffy-with-velvet-trimming-fuzz-covered surface to paint on. Oops. No matter, it all comes out in the wash.

Now that leads me on to another thing. If one were to follow the instructions one would paint on the stuff and allow to dry, pref overnight, then iron to fix (did all that), then to place the fabric flat in the dye for 30 mins (longer and the resist loses resistance), not aggitating it for fear of loosening the stuff from the fibres.

If, on the other hand, one is me, one might choose to go off recipe at the point after the ironing…

I had planned to paint and drip procion dyes, swish with water, get a nice watercolory-effect then fix with soda ash per dying instructions on the bottle. Building up by layers, some more batik-stuff, more drying-ironing-inking cycle, etc…

But, surrounded as I was by so many delicious colored inks (not fixable), I ended up using a mix of procion dye (unfixed, didn’t bother since all the other ingredients became involved), ink, dylusions spray, coffee, tea…
It was a giddy whirl of color, it was really out of my control altogether. i just decided these samples would be ingredients for non-washable creations. Simple as!

But sometimes, just knowing something won’t work is not reason enough not to give it a try. After all that ironing a certain amount of fixing must have happened. Plus I knew full well if I’d been wearing white when I did this, no amount of laundering would have got the splashes out! So I *washed some edge snippings to see what happened… just how much color loss and more importantly, washability of the stuff
Surprised by the results – less color loss than I expected, and total stuff removal (speckles n all!)
*washing: hand washed in cool water, no detergent, just til the water ran clear.

ink dribbles



Remember the watermarked dyed paper ?

This week I’ve been playing with ink (quite a lot!) So it followed that where water does one thing, ink should do similar but with more colorful results!

I used Pebeo Colorex ink (Chartreuse. My fav color de jour!) they have a real glowing transparency and mouth-wateringly rich color! On pre-scrumpled paper they run deliciously through the landscape of the paper’s surface.

The quilt-making (more on that later) is my current obsession, and the urge to stitch is cropping up everywhere!

happy accidents in colors


I’ve been dying threads and fabrics for a project I’ll show you soon, and in turn I’ve had some happy accidents I think you might like.

Here are the dyings…



Having given them a good long soak in procion dye I left them to dry out, and naturally didn’t want any off the delicious color juice go to waste. So back to the fruits of the paper dying project


The cord made especially interesting tigery patterns



Sometimes the pigments react, separate, and make wonderful patterns

the what and the why of ‘a page a day’


When I began this project (a month ago today) I had no idea how long I’d stick with it. Or how easy/difficult, much fun/much of a slog, it would become.
Or for what reason I wanted to do it.

But I did want to.

So I began.

A Page A Day, the project.

Ingredients:

  • New A3 sketchbook
  • All my paints, pens, inks, dyes, brushes, forks and sticks… if it makes a mark, it can join the game
  • This blog. To record and evaluate, to review and assess, keep track in a different medium of unfolding development. Regularly (I thought maybe daily, yeh…)
  • A spare 1/2 hour or so each day to fill that day’s page

That’s it, no rules.

Just one page at a time. One day at a time
(With maybe a little to-ing and fro-ing in between, but with the majority of today’s page being created today.)
Day 1, Page 1

Day 1: 16 March 2012. A Friday.
Home from work with the whole evening set aside to arty things, with the possibility to spill out over the weekend.

And wow did it spill! Everyday is painted, collaged, drawn on, doodled on, written on; dripped, splished and splatted on.

(I’ve posted previous pages if you’re interested here, here, here. And here n here!)

There are days that I’m more pleased with the result than others, but isn’t that a metaphor! If I find something really wanting on a page I’ll go back and add it. Using my sketchbook as a work surface (no drips of color go to waste in my world!) means some ‘new’ pages will begin with splishes and spills of color. S’okay.

Today ‘s page looks a lot like a page with inky paper towels stuck to it.


That’s cool. Cos I’m not so interested in what the page as a whole looks like.


These are the bits I like.

The miniature landscapes,

The inter-mingling of inks and dyes,

The light and the shade cast by wrinkles and dimples.