Friday, May 8, 2015

Ice Resist Dyeing Mandalas

If you have followed my blog, you will remember that the last couple of summers I have felt compelled to experiment with folding fabrics, applying ice and then dyes trying to see how many layers the color will go through to get a repeating pattern.  Inspired by fellow dyer Kay Koeper Sorensen, I decided to try to do mandalas this summer.  These were my first attempts and this was my favorite of the three I did.  My process for this one was (1) to cut a piece of fabric 45 inches long by 45 inches wide. ( 2) I then ironed it well and started folding, first in half, then quarters, then eighths and then sixteenths, ironing in the folds. (3) I then refolded as much as I could so that I was getting more of a fan fold rather than just one thick side. (4)  I then soaked it in a soda ash solution making sure that the piece was saturated and making sure the folds stayed in place. (5)  Then I placed it on a rack and smushed it up some as I was running out of room because I had laid out another piece flat.  The folds in this piece were not as precise as the other two I did at the same time.  This was my favorite. (6) I used grape, blue violet, dark green and basic blue dyes pretty thickly applied over the ice with which I had covered the pieces.

 This is the other piece that shared the rack with the above piece.  Instead of scrunching this piece, I aid it flat on the rack.  If you look closely you can see that on top of the piece, you can clearly see the rack markings!  The third piece I did had this even more evident.  My conclusion was that I liked the effect of the crinkled up fabric much better.  With the scrunching, you get hills and valleys so that the dyes actually run down the fabric and give a much more organic feel to it.  So onward with more experimenting using different colors, concentrations and using a hexagon fold the next time so that I will have a six-repeat pattern instead of an 8.  I love kalaidoscopic images and of course have carried on a love affair with hexagonal repeats for a number of years now doing far far too many stack and whack, one block wonder and serendipity quilts!!  

This is far too much fun!!


Else said...

Hey there!

I've been looking around your blog to understand how you fold your pieces of fabric to make a mandala, can you let me know how you do this? And how many colors you use for one piece, how you arrange them?

Have a nice day,


Elizabeth said...

Will try to get a blog up about the various folds I used soon. Have had terrible cold and move to my summer home so might be awhile. They are pretty simple though with a couple of hints. My color selections are pretty random although I should note that with a few exceptions, I use only "pure" colors (ones that are not mixes). My exceptions are some greens, brown and black. I try to make sure that I have a variation in value, ie if I am using a lot of dark colors, I make sure there are some white areas or lighter colors like yellow or orange. Same with the opposite, if using a lot of light colors, I make sure there are some very darks included. I tend to use the browns with red, orange and yellow and black when mixing with green, blue and purple.

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