Silk Painting: Refilling Gold Liner from the Tubes to the Bottles

We all have our habits and one of mine in silk painting is always to use the little plastic bottles with nibs for drawing my resist lines. I’ve never liked the tubes. It’s just one of those things.

Squeezing the gold resist from the tube into the bottle

But a few days ago I realised I was going to have to order some more gold resist as I have a silk painting workshop coming up and saw that I didn’t have enough for the participants. So I went online and ordered some. Just half an hour later I got a phone call from the company telling me they didn’t have any bottles left and would tubes do.

Well there wasn’t a lot of choice in the matter as time was a bit tight, so I said yes, remembering in that moment my last experiences using the tubes. However, I like to keep an open mind and so I just waited for the delivery.

Today I unpacked them and decided to have a go using one of the tubes. I just wanted to say that these plastic nozzles are already open and so have a fixed aperture size. Unlike the empty plastic bottles you can buy and decide yourself how much you cut off the nozzle before screwing on the nib.

Anyway to cut a long story short I started drawing my resist lines feeling very optimistic. But within a second or two I remembered why I never bought them. The hole was just too big and as a result the resist came pouring out like the anti-Diluvian flood. Nowhere near fine enough for my detailed mandala work. But I had started the inner circle, so I had to finish.

Showing the pink and purple pattern on the silk scarf

No more tube work. I got out one of the empty bottles and began to pour the resist from the tube into the bottle and then added one of my fine nibs. Now there is the option of screwing the nozzle from one of these bottles onto the tube and placing a nib on top but to be perfectly honest I’m not too keen.

For two reasons. One is that I much prefer the feel of the chunkier bottles in my hand as opposed to the tubes. And secondly the tubes simply cost quite a bit more than the glass jars of resist. I’m guessing because they’re more of a convenience to some artists if they don’t mind the thick gloopy lines. But as I said, old habits die hard and I just love using the bottles.

The gold mandala design drying on the silk scarf

Anyway with the bottle, nozzle and nib I was ready to go and was able to create my gold mandala design without any further hitches. Here you can see it laid out to dry. It’ll be left over night and tomorrow I can heat set and then it’ll be finished. I’ll come back and share a picture of it draped on the model.

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2 Responses to Silk Painting: Refilling Gold Liner from the Tubes to the Bottles

  1. Judy Szabó says:

    Hi Fiona,
    Isn’t this a laugh, I insist on the tubes filling them from the glass jars. A few months ago I bought the Airpen pro, used it twice and ran back to my precious tubes :) .

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Judy – yes I agree. There are some ‘sophisticated’ products on the market but I always say to people that you can get by with the basics.

      I’ve heard some people say they like to work with tubes as it’s easier on their hands and wrists. That’s never been an issue for me but I can see how these soft plastic tubes can reduce pressure.

      The big thing of course is that, like you, me buying the gold resist in jars is by far the cheapest way of buying it. I always like to think in practical terms. Enjoy your tubes. :-)

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