Mmm….so what do the above have in common? The easy answer to that is that they all feature in my latest silk painting. And this blog post shares with you how I put it all together.
This time I created an undercoat by painting a spiral pattern on my silk satin using various tones of fuchsia, orange and pink and while the dyes were still wet I sprinkled a liberal helping of Himalayan rock salt onto my painting.
I removed the salt crystals before the silk had dried to control the amount of movement that was created in the design as this type of salt is very active, to say the least, and if left to its own devices, can wipe large areas clean if you use quite big chunks.
So the next day, when everything was nice and dry, I began to create a soya wax mandala pattern on top of the dyed silk.
I use small pellets as they melt very easily. You can buy them very reasonably in the UK from a very friendly and helpful company called Fullmoons-Cauldron. I just warm them in a pan and then put them in a bowl of water over a small stove with candlelights next to my silk frame. I find that this keeps the wax hot enough to work well with.
I drew a few circles with a magic fabric pen and then just started to paint the wax on freehand, enjoying the spontaneity of it all.
Again, I left the wax to dry over night, although you can just as easily begin to apply dyes or paint a short while after applying the wax.
My next step was to mix some purple and fuchsia and then paint this on all the areas I hadn’t put wax on. Now if you want a rough look, you can take a big brush and paint all over the pattern. But….you then have to take care to wipe off all the dye droplets on the wax as these will mark your silk when you use the iron to remove the wax.
So….I take the perfectionist path and paint each individual area carefully without touching the wax. I like it that way and find I get better results (or let us say, different results).
Next day I put up the ironing board and lay out some kitchen crepe. I unpin the silk from the frame and lay it on top of the crepe, with another piece on top of that and begin to iron out the wax.
I repeat until I have covered the whole painting. There are many possibilities here. You can steam without removing any of the wax. You can iron out some of it and then steam. During steaming the rest comes out onto the paper. And then after fixing, you can wash out the remains with a mild detergent.
This painting is now in the steamer and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival! It’s always so exciting to see the finished silk artwork in its final stage, all shimmery and glistening. I love that.
You can see more of my artwork on my art website at Silkandart.com. Please contact me if you would like to commission a piece of original artwork. I’d love to inspire you.