Saturday, September 01, 2012

More Batik Stamps

I sign my name on my art with the Hebrew letters for my first and middle names. I wanted to see what would happen if I made a batik stamp from my initials. I had to write the letters backwards so they would be forwards when I used the stamp on fabric. 

I'm still working on batik stamps. These are made of some odds and ends of white low fire. I'll need to clean them up, but first they need to dry a bit. I can't wait to get my stamps bisqued, and glazed. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Batik Stamps

Batik is even more addictive than beads. I am not interested in paying a couple hundred dollars apiece to buy tjaps, so I'm making my own stamps. I'll use white terra sig to show how the design will look. I'll glaze the stamp so the hot wax won't be absorbed into the clay. Jim will make me a wooden knob to glue to the back of the stamp so I won't worry about dropping the stamp in the hot wax. 

I now find myself doodling stamp designs. Can't wait to get these babies done, fired, glazed and tested out on fabric. 

Latest Clay Work

I decided to make individual covered casserole pots. These are coil built and are fashioned after dried poppy seed pods. The top pot get the lid cut tomorrow and the bottom one needs the stem part. I'm using low-fire clay with mica in it. I love cooking in a mica clay pot. The food seems to cook faster and stays moist because of the lid. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Turning my hand batik fabric into a blouse. There's enough fabric left over to make a pair of boxers for Jim. 

Fabric design was inspired by Clarice Cliff's art deco ceramic work. This blouse, and the one above, are from a reworked Park Bench Pattern. The pattern pieces shrunk in the wash. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sewing Is An Adventure

Sometimes, it just doesn't go right. As I started sewing the button holes, I realized I was sewing them on the left side of the blouse. Ack! Wrong side! Okay... The reason men's button holes are on the left is because men dress themselves. The reason women's button holes are on the right is because women were dressed by maids. I dress myself. I should have button holes wherever I want. So there. One problem.... I can't bring myself to wear a shirt with men's button holes. Okay..... this is a design element and it will be easier to sew on the buttons because these already sewn holes (which hadn't been cut) would make it easy to see where to put the buttons. So I put button holes on the other side. Then I sewed on the buttons. By machine. Making sure they are firmly and permanently attached. Ack! I put the button holes on the wrong side - I was right the first time. No, wait..... it's all right. The button holes are where they are supposed to be. I was cutting the last two button holes when I realized I had indeed put the button holes on the wrong side. It's now a design element and I'm wearing the blouse no matter what. 

As long as I'm going to wear my heart on my sleeve, I might as well wear my heart on my sleeve. 

This is a commercial batik. I did a little adjusting on the pattern to make it fit my Xtra Lovely self. Extra Lovely, that's what the XL is for, right? I made the front shorter, but not the back. No problem, I'll only sew the side seams down to the last 4 inches and it will just be a blouse with a longer back. Now that I've worked out the front and back sleeve problems (why is it so darned hard to get them to match?) and worked out the hem, I want to use this pattern for the batik cloth I made. 

I Bought Ready To Wear

Yes, I who sew everything bought ready to wear. It's not as bad as it sounds. My friend Georgina Feltha ordered fabric from Africa, and made insanely comfortable clothes from the fabrics. I love wearing this. The symbols are African symbols and I did look them up. I can't remember all of them now, but they were intriguing. I'm planning on using some of the symbols to make ceramic stamps for batik. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Batik - from start to finish

 Getting the table ready to do batik. I've put cardboard on the table to keep the wax off the table. 

 These are a collection of bottles that I use to make different size circles. 

 Almost completely melted soy wax. I use soy wax because it has no fumes, can be kept melted using a double boiler and it's a renewable resource. 

What the fabric looks like with all the wax circles. I used the piece of fabric that I dyed Ivory. It's a soft, very pale yellow. 

The finished fabric. I used ultra purple because it's a compliment of yellow. This will be a blouse for me when it grows up. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Dyed Again

I bought three new dyes, Ivory, Pewter and Imperial Purple. I think the first two will be great colors for the first dye and the third will make a wonderful over dye for batik. The Ivory seems to be the soft, pale yellow I had been wanting to get. 

I'm off this week and I want to do some serious batik. I'll need to make a piece 3 yards long for a blouse. I bought 12 yards of white cotton and I've washed it with something similar to Synthropol. 

More photos as I turn fabric into batik. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Batik Experiments, Round Three

II read where putting the cloth with the wax on it in the freezer would make for a crackle effect when using soy wax. 

I didn't get crackle, but I do like what I got. This was a white triangle of fabric that I had dyed with I think sage green. I stuffed the fabric into a quart jar that had dye solution in it. Then I did the wax. Then I over dyed it with sky blue. I like the circles I got. 

 Palomino gold under Orchid. 

Sky blue over parakeet. I slowed down my movements with the tjanting tool so the wax would have a chance to penetrate the fabric. 

 Sky blue over palomino gold. I used a cookie cutter to make the designs. 

Note to self: do NOT use bright yellow over parakeet. I had a big cat cookie cutter which I tried using. It does work, but I had a hard time getting it into the pan and even dropped it a couple times. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Batik Experiments, Round Two

I played with batik again. In each group, the base colors in order are: Parakeet, Wasabi, and Palomino Gold. I use the procion dyes from Dharma Trading. 

The secondary color for the first set is Plum. Second set is Sunrise Red. Third set is Yucca. Fourth set is Pomegranite. 

I played with small cookie cutters. I dipped the cookie cutter in the melted soy wax and then stamped the wax on the fabric. I played with filling in the cookie cutters. I keep wanting to make small lines, but the small lines done allow enough contrast. 

I'm still aiming at some kind of design for a blouse. I'd need to make 3 yards of batik. I think I'm pretty much decided on the Parakeet for the first dye and I'm not sure yet what I want to use for the second dye. Marine Blue or Yucca are my favorites so far.