Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Dyeing not Dying

   When  I work on anything with pigments - paint, dyes, markers, etc.,  I generally do not worry about gloves and such.  I can wash.  Yesterday I was dyeing some sample pieces for a show I am designing.  Separation Rapid is a world premiere of a play about the final journey of Bessie and Glenn Hyde in 1928 when they ran the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a homemade scow and never returned.  Some of the characters need to be wearing the colours of the canyon so they can fade into the background when needed.
     I wore gloves to prep the fabric with soda ash, then I mixed the fiber reactive dye colours.  I lay the primed fabric pieces out on the lawn and using various squirt bottles I placed the colours in a loose pattern on the fabric.

After the colours bled together.

After the dye application, the fabric needs to be kept damp for several hours, so I covered the fabric with a drop cloth, weighted it with logs and stones and left it on the lawn. Today I wash it and see how it looks when dry.  We are aiming for a darker  look, not all the tans and yellows - but I fear this may have gotten too hot in the reds and oranges.  If I do not like it for the show it can be a great "something else."
    Last night when I ate dinner I realized that although I had covered my hands, I was wearing flip flops to dye in.  My feel were covered in red, brown and orange spots.  I looked like I had been in the spatter field of a messy homicide.  Just another reminder to wear shoes!

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