Sunday, October 28, 2007

silk painting with gel glue

I received, (Thank you Linda!), a silk painting kit for my birthday last year - do you ever do this?: I wanted to make the drawing that I did sooo special that I ended up not opening the box for over a year! Well, finally I did, and I was zooming along with the gutta-resist and ran out. I had just been doing those gel glue resists that Susan Sorrell taught us in her website class on fabric painting, so I pulled out the gel glue and kept on. Here is the result:

Here: let me show you another view:
See how the paint pools on the silk? I never really understood why so many folks like silk for a painting canvas ... now I get it.

The gel glue pattern in the blue space there was just scribbles. Gel glue is pale blue glue that one can get in one's local big box store, or many places where Elmer sells their other, regular white glue. I don't quite know why but it dries into a lovely resist and then will contain very watery fabric paint from section to section in a painting. The paint pools and dries in that lovely light/dark way.

Now, I was drawing the glue on in a pretty fast stroke, and had the nozzle open pretty wide, so I wonder, if either of those things were changed, if the "problems" of this painting could be minimized or even eradicated. Above you can see where there are thin threads of glue that dripped as I went from one place to another. See on the polka dots on the pink?

And see here:

These are her eyes, but the gel glue tends to spread out as it sits on the cloth, before it dries, and so here her eyes ended up having very little detail. Bummer. The glue is a bit thick and it takes some hand strength to draw an entire picture in gel, I was probably just excited, and wanted to get going. I will try another one using a much smaller opening to use less glue so that it won't spread around so much.

And as for drying: In Susan Sorrell's fabric painting class there was always lots to dry and then heat set. I blew out a brand new iron in my speed to get results. (Paint all over the bottom!!!)And then I remembered that my clothes dryer has this removable shelf that braces against the front and back of the dryer so that it doesn't spin, but does get all of the heat and moisture removing properties of the dryer. I snapped it in place yesterday, set in a couple of pieces that needed both drying and setting, this face piece amongst them. I think that I set it for 40 minutes or so on the highest heat setting, and voila! It worked perfectly!

Gel glue can be a bit of a pain to get out - washing, scrubbing and all - but I let the silk painting soak overnight in, initially, hot water, and this morning the glue was all gone. There also was NO color in the water, so the heat set worked. Yay. So I rinsed it, and ironed it, and feel much more confident now about going on to do more pieces without gumming up that new iron I'm gonna have to get.

Oooh! Ooooh! the gel glue, if I can get it to write thinly enough would be an awesome way to make a Robinsunne's Multiplication Clock on fabric!!! OH YEAH!!! Make it big enough to be a quilt! Sleep with your multiplication answers!!!

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