More geodes done with the coffeepot dye method. This time I used dry dye and soda ash mix on dry shirts. I think I prefer dying like this on damp shirts. It seems that the dye sticks to the cloth a little better and the colors flow and blend a little easier. I especially like the way the brown and turquoise on the third shirt blended into a nice teal color. I will remember that when mixing colors in the future. I also need to tighten up the sinew a little more. I would like to get more defined lines. So it goes. Message me if you are interested in one of these.
New experiments: Shirts folded dry, slightly damped, a mix of dry dye and soda ash applied, placed on an inclined rack in the sink, and drenched with boiling water (The Coffeepot Method) allowed to cool and washed out. Dyes used were Custom Colors fuschia, yellow, blue, and black.
Conclusions: No so sure yet I like this. Maybe because I did not use enough dry dye. Color saturation is not what I would like for it to be and I am not sure about whether or not the colors will fade with washing, although they were put through a cold wash after rinsing. Some people soak in white vinegar afterward to help set the colors. I may try it and see what I think.
I like liquid dyes with urea for deep, saturated colors but they don’t break and blend the way dry dyes do. The breaking allows for watercolor effects and are always a surprise. The Geode shirt is from black dye breaking into blue. the DNA was done with three primary colors and is a good example of how dry dyes break and blend.
Hmmmmm. . . . ponder, ponder, ponder. . . .
Left to right; Pink Geodes is Fruit of the Loom adult 3 X, DNA is the same, Flowerfold is 2x. $35, free shipping. Holler if you want one.
These were experiments on several different levels:
- Primary colors from Custom Colors; Yellow #104, Turquoise # 417, and Scarlet #218. I like to mix my own colors, often on the garment itself, and I wanted to see how these three would act together. I think in the future I may swap fuchsia for scarlet if I am using turquoise in the mix because I think it would make a better purple and the colors would work better together. I like the scarlet but I think I will pair it with a darker blue next time.
- FWIW, I am not fond of spirals centered in the middle of the chest. It reminds me too much of target practice, so I like to offset mine. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. The spoked looking fanfold is a new one I learned. I want to do more of them
- I have most often used liquid dyes on a presoaked shirt. This time the shirts were just dampened for easier folding. I mixed soda ash to dry powder in a 2:1 ratio and applied it dry on top of the shirt. I used a plastic spoon to apply the dye and did not have as much control as I liked. Other dyers us syringes and paint brushes with dry dyes. I might try that in the future.
- I dumped ice on top of everything after putting them on racks and into plastic containers. Then they cooked in my solar oven for a couple of days. It was cool and rainy and took longer to heat up than usual. Then the ice melted, overflowed the containers, and the solar oven peed all over the driveway and garage. It is time for new containers anyway. Mine are old and cracking and my racks are rusting.
I am not so sure it I am going to continue with this technique or not. I like mixing SA with dry dye and not needing urea. Mixing my own colors works better with liquid dye than with dry, but who knows where I will go with that. The CC dyes are bright and vivid and work well. They are a company near where I live. Dave, the guy who runs it, is great to work with, and shipping is free for orders over $35 if I don’t have the time to drive for 2 hours to get there. My orders usually arrive the next day, two days at the very latest.
Just last night I learned of a new techniques involving dry dye, hot water, and aquarium pumps. The results I have seen on-line are gorgeous and they say you can finish a shirt in 2 hours instead of 2 days. I am itching to try it. It’s too bad I have to do things like clean up after myself and eat or I would have already been out in the studio playing with it.
These shirts are adult sized mediums by Fruit of the Loom. If anyone would like one send me a message.
I can say now that I am no longer a festival virgin. I was initiated in a big way this past weekend and am still recovering from it. Here is a list of things I wish I had known beforehand.
- Make sure you have a reliable, dependable back up team. I didn’t and was miserable. Be very clear in communicating expectations and needs.
- Getting to your site can be an irritating problem. I had to deal with equipment and trucks blocking the way and roads closed that were said to be open.
- Rethink your footwear. I thought my faithful old hiking sandals would provide enough support. Nope. I was barefoot most of the day as a result. Your feet may swell, especially if you are outdoors in the heat standing up for most of the day.
- If you need electricity be prepared for extra charges and the need to cover up your drop cords due to state law. I am going to look for battery or solar-powered fans for the next outdoor event.
- Don’t post your prices in a proominant place. Even though mine were consistent with those of other vendors for the same thing people would stop, read my sign, and walk away not bothering to look at what I offered.
- Take a mini first aid kit. Include headache and stomach remedies.
- Carabiners work better than zip ties for some things. You will need a hand truck or cart on wheels.
- Other handy items include extra tarps, trash bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, bug spray, and sunscreen, clothes pins, painter’s tape,and a box cutter. A portable cell phone charger pack is a requirement.
- Sports drinks and electrolyte placement if outdoors in the heat is extremely important. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Don’t skimp on salt. Bring your own cooler full.
- Make sure your online presence is up to date before the festival. I had been sloppy about maintaining my social media sites. People would take my card and go home and look me up.
Overall, my first festival was a positive experience. I didn’t make a lot of money, just enough to cover my entrance fee, but the lessons learned were priceless. I was in tears often over the kindness of strangers and the camaraderie among vendors. I made some great connections, met wonderful people I want to stay in contact with, and have begun to refine my craft techniques as well as what I will be offering in the future.