I am a fiber artist, working with dyes, fabric and threads. I’ve been at this for quite some time having evolved from a traditional quilter to where I am now. I am always attracted to textures, lines and gradations, so these are the areas that I explore.
I’ve had several teachers who have influenced me. Ann Johnston introduced me to the medium. Jane Dunnewold expanded my knowledge through her master classes and this last May a two week intensive class with Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan has pushed me forward. My sessions with Suzanne Edtminster taught me the value of layering.
Dyeing is a chemical reaction between the color and the fabric. I use Procion dyes with a soda ash fixer. Both the soda ash and the dye have to be present. I apply the dye to the fabric in either a thick, paint like viscosity or in a liquid state. Then there has to be at least a four hour wait as the chemical reaction takes place. Afer this I wash out the excess dyes, iron and ponder my next move. When there is dye in the fabric I can use a discharge medium, a type of bleach, to remove the color. There will be some kind of ghost color after this process. This is a lot like water color – I can never get back to white.
For me the exciting part of this process is deciding on how and where to apply the dyes and then seeing the results as I iron out the piece. Then deciding again and again until the piece says “enough”.