Oh my, I think I'm hooked. I've been interested in the idea of silk painting ever since a co-worker back at Printing 'n Graphics in Marietta, GA (Hey Teri!) wore a hand-painted silk scarf that she painted herself. It was a gorgeous scarf, and she said she used to make them while they were stationed in Germany, and sent them back to the states to sell. I even bought a few books (of course I did) and kept them all these years. On to the present - a co-worker and I decided that we wanted to try it, finally. Over the past few months I've accrued some of the basic supplies,(Dick Blick, cheaper than Dharma Trading Co.) and I decided last night was a good time to start. I bought some silk scarves, but I used some synthetic chiffon I had on hand to practice with. I used a needlework stretcher frame, which really didn't work all that well, and thumbtacked the chiffon to it (after washing and drying the material).
Then it was on to tracing the design onto the chiffon. Because I knew I would be using a black resist, I used pen. Well, if you must know, I couldn't get my pencil lines to show up on the chiffon, so that's why I really used a pen. I found a FANTASTIC website, Chantal's Stained Glass, with great designs, many for free. I can't tell you how great this website is. She has designs to sell, too, and I have a feeling I'll be spending my allowance there.
Here's the design with resist on it. The resist keeps the paint from running into the other parts. Since I'm a newbie, I was perplexed on how to get the resist from the jar into the little squeeze bottle. Hmm, tiny little funnel? Don't have one. I finally decided (after a mess) to suck up the resist into the bottle. I have three tips, and I decided to use the thinnest one. Remember now, I'm experimenting.
It was hilarious at first - my hand was shaking so hard the lines were anything but straight. I refused to give up, and eventually I calmed down enough to get it all drawn out with the resist. That's when the cat thought she'd help me. I don't think so. I let her go out and play in the winter weather, which is what she really wanted anyway.
You have to let the resist dry, so I set it over the register in the bathroom while I watched Extreme Makeover and worked on a Christmas Stocking. Yes, for last Christmas. Don't ask.
I was so excited to get out all those dyes I bought! I picked out the colors I thought I wanted and prepared some glasses of water for brushes and set to work. I know now that I need better brushes (and any eyedropper or two). The chiffon is very thin, so the color isn't as vibrant as on silk, but it works for me. Here's a shot of the piece as I was working on it.
It took me longer than I expected it to, but I was having so much fun mixing colors and taking my time! I did have some bleed-over, but it's all in the learning process. This piece is very much a watercolor type, which I like. Because it's so sheer, I've decided to put a light-colored piece of fabric behind it and quilt it. Hey, I've got about 8 yrds. of chiffon, so it's all downhill from here.
And now, my list of things you must have: chinese hooks - good stretcher frame - good brushes - eyedroppers - no cat and a steady hand. That's it!