I took advantage of the wonderful weather today and did some sunprinting on silk. I had tried silk before, and my sister had made a beautiful silk scarf with sunprinting a few years ago, but most of my recent sunprinting has been with cotton. However, I was inspired after seeing Heidi Hunter’s work at her studio, which I visited during the Wave Artist Tour last Saturday. She had huge pieces of sunprinted silks drying on the line….and she had made some beautiful purple pillow covers. I don’t know what paints/dyes she uses but her colours are really intense. Just gorgeous!! Mine pale by comparison, but no surprise there since she is an expert.
I cut my pieces of silk to about 14 by 14 inches, enough for some pillows of my own if I add some borders(batiks?). I managed to get 3 pieces of silk printed: Christmas gifts for a few people I hope.
The first one I didn’t like because the 3 colours I used didn’t blend very well(blue,green and purple) and looked quite stripey, so I decided to re-sunprint the piece….just like is done with gelli-printing. I overprinted with red, and sometimes overlapped the first layers of leaf prints, so there is still some white that shows through. These are transparent paints so over-layering gives odd colour combos. It is a bit intense to say the least and very overwhelming, but if trimmed to smaller pieces it should work well, maybe as some small wallets or cosmetic cases. I think I have to get rid of the heavy stripes towards the right especially- but maybe some quilting with red and purple thread might work….
For the second and third pieces, I really wet the fabric, painted in circular strokes and resprayed with water to blend the colour edges. I think they are quite nice:
For the above green/blue one I unfortunately had a bit of purple carry-over which looks out of place, so maybe some trimming is in the cards for this piece too(the pillows are getting smaller and smaller!!).
The above orange/red/yellow one has nicely blended colours and some very finely detailed prints(especially at the bottom right). Silk really lets the details show up nicely.
I think this may be the last hot day of summer in Winnipeg , but if we are lucky with the weather I might try doing some cotton sunprints, using the same paint/spray technique that worked for the silk.