Hooked On Experiments

I’m hooked on experiments – trying to take it to the next step! I know what I’m after and I’m getting close…just a bit more!

9.2 #4.

This is one direction I’m travelling on. It’s printed on canvas Mordanted in AA, Oak gall tannin and printed once, then over-printed with a copper blanket. Next stage? Trying to decide how but I want to add some more elements to it without putting it through anymore steaming processes because I like it the way it is and don’t want to lose any of what’s there or change the color and depth it has now, Perhaps some text or block printed or stenciled elements…suggestions welcome!

Here I experimented with some more small “blanket” pieces to add some variety to the composition. It was mordanted with alum (Potassium aluminum sulfate) and some of the pieces were soaked in cochineal, some in a weak iron solution. I complained recently that I wasn’t getting any color from the eucalyptus but viola! No problem this time! Trying to decide if I should take it to another step or leave this one alone. What would you do?

This is a two-fer! I used one scarf on the bottom and overlaid another on top of it to act as a blanket and changed it slightly by adding more leaves to the top of that one.This is where I run into trouble documenting things because I make art like I cook and then lose track of what I did in the end. I started out using Lac dye but it was too weak a solution and I think I ended up adding some madder dye that I had had just made to it. Or did I just use more Lac? I don’t remember! I’d blame it on age but my memory has never been that accurate because I get so focused on what I’m doing in the moment.  So…these definitely need some pzazz! Next step? Totally open to ideas you may have! I’m beginning to play with print paste but don’t want to change what’s there in another steaming process. I haven’t  been sucessful yet at printing with print paste that doesn’t wash out without it. I think I’m doing something wrong but I’ll keep at it.

Here’s a couple that I did add another layer to with Xanthan print paste (first time using it) but they did go through another steam bath.

Xanthan Gum Experiment. #1. web


10 thoughts on “Hooked On Experiments

    1. I used xanthan gum because one of the mixes used lemon to discharge and I mixed the gum powder with some water, then mixed some of that in with the lemon juice and painted that onto leaves and pressed them onto the fabric. I also used some logwood powder and did the same, For another I mixed the paste with some ferrous sulfate and another with copper. I steamed most of them and they worked to varying degrees but I tried one using the same logwood and let it dry well but it washed right out. I’m guessing that I should have ironed it to set it before washing.


  1. Today I watched a quilting arts episode where the presenting artist demonstrated quilting with painted canvas. She cut her old canvas up and then sewed it back together resulting in interesting patterns. Dare you cut it and reassemble? She also used thrmofax screens to add texture to her landscape quilts so she didn’t have to thread paint as heavily to achieve the depth and texture she wanted. This makes me think about your canvas that is hungry for more. Perhaps some ecoprinted gauze or gauzy linen could be added and other earthly things like dried fungus or stick and stones.
    I regards to paste printing I am ready to try that here too. I bought some logwood ink from Maiwa this year—special edition stuff and 80 clams but it came in a custom pottery decanter so… gotta try it on some scraps and see how it holds up. I invested in some wooden lasercut stamps of bugs —bumblebees, dragogonflies and beetles—thinking these are things you might find among the forest floor…maybe that or shoshiko geometry inspired bugs ala Charly Harper that are hand embroidered. Enjoy the process Janis


    1. Well, with the scarves, they are smaller than usual. I’m trying to add some pzazz on scarf blanks that I don’t want to have to add more labor costs because I’m trying to come up with a smaller ticket item. However, I have been known to cut up and rework scarves that don’t make the grade for me. And I love your ideas! I have no problem cutting hings up. In fact, for most of the year I’ve been focused on deconstruction as a theme for an artist exchange that I belong to and so why didn’t I think of that? This is why I love getting input from people like you! I also like the suggestion of adding earthy elements to the mix!I have used sticks before but not stones and I think I will now, for sure. Logwood ink? Oh my! I will be looking into that! I’ve been happy with sumi-e ink that dries permanently so I love using inks. Thanks so much for your input!


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