Silk Painting with Gold Accents

I’ve been painting on silk for around 18 years now. My goodness – where does the time go? And yes, in that time I have covered a lot of ground. I’ve tried out lots of different techniques, and some of my experiments have ended up in the trash leaving me with a good-humoured sense of “Next!”.

At quite an early point I began to create mandalas using gold liner as a resist and losing myself in lots of tiny details. This was fascinating, and I really saw my techniques improving from piece to piece. It was quite a skill to learn how to draw lines that would effectively create a barrier for the liquid silk dyes.

Today I use soya wax a lot to create layered looks but still love coming back to using the gold liner. I apply it on top for little gold accents rather than drawing thicker lines which stop the flow of dye. The difference in using the liner for accents is that you can apply it very thinly as it doesn’t need to act as a barrier to dyes. So you can put the liner into a smaller bottle with a nozzle to apply it, or even us a brush and apply very abstract patterns. The top photo here shows the silk with under layers and here the wax resist has been applied in pattern.

Here is a bright orangey-yellow layered crepe-de-chine silk scarf I have been working on recently. I took the decision to stretch it once more on the frame after fixing the dyes and now I’m adding lots of little details with the gold liner. You only really see them when the light catches them, which is a look I find rather pretty.

I’m sharing it here with you to let you have a little preview. When the gold dries, it is very simply fixed by ironing the fabric from the reverse. And then I look forward to taking some shots of the silk scarf out in the daylight.


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2 Responses to Silk Painting with Gold Accents

  1. Rob Patkai says:

    When using a coloured decorative gutta for accents, such as gold, this usually creates a raised surface. How does one fix this? Ironing is the normal way to fix a completed silk work but doesn’t work, as the gutta is not washed out as with a resist, and so is affected by the ironing, both the heat and the pressure. What do you do?

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Rob – when I use metallic resists, yes the area is slightly raised. Normally it flattens out when ironed. I then iron the silk from the reverse for 3 minutes before applying the dyes. After steaming for 3 hours, I will then wash out the clear resist. But not all resists are washed out. Only the clear water based resist so that it can reveal the colour underneath or the plain white silk. Metallics and other coloured resists are not designed to be washed out. Ironing to fix them is the way to go. You can make your own coloured water based resists using clear resist mixed with dye. Try that with Resistad from Jacquard. Then you can later wash out the clear resist leaving the dye behind in the fabric.

      Generally if your metallic lines are too thick after ironing, try out a smaller nozzle for your resist bottle and practise drawing lighter lines.

      Hope this helps. Good luck.



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