Tag Archives: procion dyes

Progress through process

New work is my focus, I’m applying for several, larger shows so I’ll need work to display (& sell!) I’ll let you know which shows if I get accepte!

I would like to make larger pieces but these are obviously time consuming, and more difficult to transport. So, I’ve decided to focus on 40×40 landscapes for a while- my plan is to get 4 done in the next 6 weeks 😱 that’ll keep me out of mischief (but p’raps not too busy for school and national politics 😉)

Our family week in Wales was fantastic- why did none of you tell me sooner how gorgeous West Wales is??

In between sea swimming and ice creams there were cliff walks on the beautiful Pembroke Coastal Path and visits to Tenby and St David’s. My sketchbook didn’t get quite as much use as I’d hoped but my mind is full of experiences and my photo album is full to bursting.

So this week I’m sketching out the four images that I’m hoping to develop. I’m drawing them to the chosen scale and taking a quick tracing of the main composition to help with building up the appliqué.

Then I get the paints out. I’m using watercolour, water based dyes, inktense and some acrylic. When I paint, it is never the final stage- it is very definitely part of my process; painting allows me to assess how I am going to construct a piece. I can think about colour, texture and composition.

When I’m mark making with brush or pencil I’m thinking about how to transfer it to cloth and stitch. When I apply colour I’m thinking about what fabric and threads I’ll need (thanks Oliver Twists for the threads 😉) The process of painting and drawing helps me to develop my composition ideas into textiles and work through any issues.

I’m pleased with the two images I’ve developed so far, now I’m deciding whether to crack on with these in fabric, or to focus on getting the other two designs developed to paint stage. I’m tempted to start the textiles but I think it would be interesting to get the 4 designs done and then work on the four pieces.

What would you do?

My Journey

The project continues…

This week has seen more dyeing workshops for groups at Heaton Baptist Church. Spiral dyeing is such a great activity, a quick way to achieve exciting colour patterns and effects.

It’s been interesting to hear people’s ideas as they’ve added the colour, thinking about family, the energy of toddlers and so on.

We had lots of colour mixing going on too – thinking about how to mix more colours from the choices of yellow, red, turquoise, navy and brown. Sometimes only one colour will do to sum things up…


Sometimes the trickiest bit is twisting the square of fabric into a spiral – especially when there’s a little one needing a cuddle too!


Whatever, the colour combination, once the dye is applied, the fabric spiral is slipped into a plastic bag and left to ‘cure’ for 24 hours.


For the third workshop this week, with a group of young secondary school pupils, I took a different approach. First, we talked about creating a timeline of events and thinking about the mood and emotions associated with those events – how did we feel on waking up, what was it like going to school facing the strong winds of Storm Henry? The group used marker pens to draw or write out their timeline on paper, then they were asked to try and paint a piece of fabric with thickened dye, using different colours and marks to represent the feelings from their timelines. This resulted in 5 very personal and individual pieces.

All the dyes used in this project are fibre reactive type that works well with cotton fabrics. They can be mixed with a seaweed based thickener to make them into paint that can then be applied to fabric with a paintbrush, stick, sponge or other implement.