Several months ago I told a few blogging friends that they could color fabric with what they have on hand. Today I'm going to prove just that with supplies we probably all have on hand. Since Earth Day will be here soon, I thought this would make a good GREEN project, too.
Supplies (clockwise from back left)
Cheap acrylic paint
Various pieces that can be used as collographic plates (water resistant plates used for printing; learn how to make your own here)
Brayer (hard rubber)
Clear acrylic plate (you can use glass, but be sure to tape the corners and sides, since glass will cut you)
Various pieces of fabric from the thrift store (I bought old bed sheets and pillow cases)
As long as you have even ONE bottle of cheap acrylic paint and a brayer, you can make this project work. If you can't find an acrylic plate, use a piece of glass from an old picture frame. Be sure to take precautions and tape the sides and corners, though.
The first thing I did was tear the fabric into manageable pieces. I removed the stained pieces and set them aside in order to either coffee dye or rust them at a later time.
I first squeezed two colors of acrylic paint onto my acrylic block.
If you've been here before, you know I am brayer challenged. I can't get good results with a brayer, so never use it unless it's for spreading paint on fabric. I now believe part of the problem is this brayer, since I saw a really good one in my friend Kathy's studio recently. It didn't even look like mine because it had some kind of cover over the rubber and a much better handle. However, I kept thinking, as long as I'm using a hard rubber brayer, the technique will hopefully work.
I laid a piece of fabric over these two pieces that are intended to fit together on a garage floor, using them as my collographic plate, and rolled the brayer over the fabric. Not the best, but not bad.
I think I did better the first time!
I knew I couldn't let the paint sit on my acrylic block, or it would dry and I would NEVER get the paint off, so decided it was time for a good clean-up.
My next experiment was with two values of green paint and a piece of a plastic veggie tray I bought for this year's Super Bowl. It's true, I never throw anything useful away!
Again, brayer challenged!
Then I came up with the idea I could place the bit of veggie tray directly on the paint, get an image, and lay the fabric on top of it, much like gelatin painting.
As I was preparing to take the photos of the finished pieces, Mr Snoopy (aka Bleubeard) had to inspect the finished product. Of course, I jumped when he strolled into the photo, thinking he was going to get paint all over the living room rug.
Nope. He was just being snoopy (and out of focus, as usual).
Here are the ones I was able to photograph without the blur of Bleubeard moving around in the photo. I got bored and decided to not make any more of these after I had to clean the acrylic block and brayer twice. It simply wasn't worth the extra work, and I have enough painted fabric that I can use or overdye as the spirit moves me.
Tip: Use only paint for this project. Do NOT use dye.
Tip: Use acrylic paint ONLY with fabric destined for your art quilts. This process will NOT work when the fabric will or must be washed.
Tip: Clean your acrylic plate, brayer, and collographic plate you used under the fabric immediately after use. The fabric leaks paint onto your plate.
Tip: Use any kind of relatively flat surface under your fabric that will leave a well defined mark. Look for items to use with open eyes and your imagination.