Friday, October 24, 2008

Silk Painting Demo - Part 5

The painting is finished and dried. Now we're going to steam it, a process which will permanently infuse the dye into the fabric, making it colorfast. The artwork is layed flat on two layers of unprinted newsprint paper, and rolled up (I've got a PVC pipe that I roll it around to ease the job.
When it's all rolled up, I use masking tape to hold it closed and to seal up the ends.

Here are the components of my steaming system. Thanks go to David Ludwig for sharing both his silk stretcher and steamer system with me. I've placed the rolled silk into a pair of tights (the tights legs are one inside the other), and tied it on to a piece of wooden dowel. The bottom of the steamer is the fry-daddy (an electric fryer), and the top is the stove pipe behind the table.
The stove pipe sets into the electric fryer, which I will fill with water and use as a steamer. Hang the roll of silk into the cylinder of the stove pipe, and rest the dowel on top. Place a clean, folded towel on top of the stove pipe, and dowel, as you see in the next photo.
The old chair with no seat has straps attached to it, which holds the stove pipe in place, just in case someone isn't careful or there's an earthquake. I steam the silk for two hours. Then I throw it into the washing machine to remove the gutta and any excess dyes, and iron the piece until it's dry and beautiful. If you'd like more detailed information on the process, just email or send me a comment.

The next and last installment of the demo will be....The Finished Piece! Stay tuned!


Dewberry Fine Art said...

Can't wait to see it finished. Love the shared stages. The merging of colors is amazing. Silk just has such a beautiful quality and flow.

Erika Nelson said...

Hillary you do it with such ease as if they were simple stages. Your clients really have masterpieces in their possessions with your works - and I'm happy to report I'm one of them :)

Lori Andrews said...

Hillary, seems like sooo much work going into this process! Your tutorial is fabulous!

Hillary Miller said...

Hey, thanks for the comments everyone! Lori, it is a bit more "process" than watercolor, but it's so much fun and such a rich medium. And as I love instant gratification, you know it's gotta be worth it for me to stay with it!