Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Foiling & Sun Prints

I devoted yesterday to some trial runs of foiling and tissue paper sun prints. First, the foiling. Above you see my usual collection of resources and supplies before tackling a new technique: two magazine articles and a book, various adhesives, rubber stamps, and of course, my foil.

I've seen this demonstrated, in person no less, but it did not go as smoothly as I anticipated. Honestly, it was a huge struggle to get the foil to transfer onto anything. The glue did not go onto the fabric cleanly and didn't transfer well at all from stamps. Mrs. Glue for Glitter worked the best of the glues. Fusible web did not capture it without a bit of a fight, but I think it would be my choice were I to do more of this. The Misty Fuse was interesting because it is more web-like than Wonder Under or Steam a Seam 2, so the foiling had a lacy effect. I'm up for any suggestions here - I followed the general directions, but it just wasn't working like they said it would.

So I moved on to tissue paper sun printing. Sun Printing is not new to me, but this technique of adding tissue paper is. I used the directions in Karen Eckmeier's article "Sun Prints with Tissue Paper" in the summer 2006 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. Although I was a bit hazy on what effect the tissue paper would, have the directions were clear and gave some truly interesting results. To begin, you test various tissue paper for bleeding. You want the bleeding kind, although the non-bleeding kind has its use as well. She suggested tearing the tissue paper into strips no wider than 2 inches.

Then it's time to paint your fabric. I used fat quarters of white muslin, wetting it thoroughly before painting it with Setacolor paints diluted about 50/50. Karen suggests painting blocks of colors and I chose a red with some yellow added to it, a yellow and a green.

Next, start laying strips of tissue paper on the wet fabric. Press well into the surface. This was where I was fuzzy about the outcome. I didn't want to cover up my colors too much, yet just how were these papers going to effect what was underneath? I was soon to find out.

Here is the piece after sitting in the sun for a few hours, then removing the tissue paper (it sticks pretty well to the paint even after drying).

The purple and blue tissue paper transferred quite a a bit of color. The green transferred some and there was a non-bleeding green that merely sun printed - leaving the fabric underneath it lighter than the surrounding fabric. There's a blending to form another color where the blue bled across the yellow. This is very cool!

I did a second piece very similarly. I think I meant to do something a little different with it as a control but in essence, it's pretty much the same. Perhaps it was more use of the non-bleeding tissue paper.

Here it is dry and unveiled.

A detail showing how the bleeding from the tissue paper creates additional color as the underlying paint shows through.

I really like the yellow and green swaths before I added the red, so I did a fat quarter that way and didn't add tissue paper. I also thought using the yellow and red together might give me something with more orange in it. My cardboard base wasn't big enough for both fat quarters, but I had an idea. I was curious about what would happen if I painted half of the fabric, then folded the other half over onto it and pressed so that the unpainted portion would pick up paint off the painted portion. That's what's going on on the right.

It came out lighter than expected but I like this piece.

I sprinkled a little sea salt on it while wet and wish I hadn't. It created circles and bulls eyes instead of the usual more oblong drawn effect. Oh well. Still a usable piece.

Back to the half painted, then pressed together piece. I unfolded it and added tissue paper, but this time in the opposite direction from my paint swaths. In the foreground is a smaller piece of fabric that I dipped in waste water to tint and one that I wiped my brushes on to use up every bit of paint.

I couldn't wait to see what the tissue paper was doing, so when this one was pretty much dry, I pulled up a piece to check. Sun printing!

Checking some more - here you can see the slight tint of blue left by the bleeding tissue paper.

Here's the final product. The part that was folded over to blot up paint is running along the bottom in this view.

This closeup shows again how the blue interacts with the yellow paint to make a green area.

I still had some paint left so tried one more thing on a strip of unbleached muslin. That's a feather in the middle and macaroni arranged on the red parts. More tints in the tray above.

The feather did not sun print as I had hoped. But the macaroni did. Plus that bottom section was draped over grass so wasn't getting the direct hit from the sun, so it came out quite a bit lighter than the top portion. It's a really nice sherbet.

I give a big thumbs up to this tissue paper sun printing business. Think of the variety of images from torn or cut-to-shape pieces applied to backgrounds painted in their own variety of ways. It allows for a lot of control as well as just being surprised at the outcome.


June said...

hmmm, am I detecting some exercises on the way to a particular piece --snort--

The Idaho Beauty said...

Drat - busted! Although I AM struggling with the idea that it may be breaking some rules somewhere..dare the textile half of this challenge paint her backgrounds when the painting part is your half??? Rules? What rules?!? vbg