Tuesday, November 06, 2012

New Craft Experiments

Our sister Kris, with her December birthday, gave Sarah and I, the July birthday girls, a trio of the Inkodye colors to have fun with. Have you heard of Inkodye? It's a water-based dye that sets with exposure to the sun. You can use it on all sorts of surfaces, fabric, wood, canvas, etc. Common projects include printing photo negatives on alternative surfaces or using opaque objects to make shadow prints, which is what I did.

On a nice sunny day a few weeks ago, I gathered my supplies ::

~ a foam brush for applying the dye
~ a piece of cotton fabric
~ a garbage bag to prevent the dye from seeping through to the table
~ my plants that were going to produce the shadows
~ a couple panes of glass that I wanted to use to press down the plants so that they wouldn't flutter in the wind and so that the image wouldn't be blurred by the sunlight shining under the edges of the plants.

The dying process was as easy as spreading the Inkodye, arranging my plants, covering them with glass and then letting it sit in the sun for about 8 minutes. I could tell that the glass was reflecting some of the sunlight, so I let this piece sit in the sun for a little bit longer than the recommended time.

Once time was up, I rinsed and washed the fabric with hot water and dish detergent, and this is what it looked like ::

Pretty awesome for a trial run... and then a few minutes later I noticed that the white areas weren't as crisp. Apparently I didn't get all of the dye out with my vigorous hand washing, and so in the end the images aren't as crisp and white.

Since this little experiment, I've explored their website and found these more detailed instructions for shadow printing on fabric. They recommend wiping off excess dye and washing it in the washing machine with hot water; both suggestions will be implemented next time!

It was fun to experiment with different plants. I assumed the ferns would be an easy print because they are so flat, but I wasn't sure what I would get with the other plants. I like the fresh queen anne's lace better than the dried stuff, and I think the lavender was a success. I wouldn't do the seed heads from the black eyed susans again, they couldn't be pressed flat against the fabric and too much light got in underneath leaving almost no shadow.

Having the glass was also a big help. You can see that the prints aren't as sharp for the lavender to the right that was not pressed down by the glass.

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