It’s All In The Mordant!

Grab a cuppa Joe and come on in! I can’t possibly talk with you without mine!

You all probably know by now that it’s the process I love so much. In part, that’s because experimenting is a big part of that and surprise and/or serendipity are often the result. I decided to experiment with a different mordanting process that a friend told me about. This time I mordanted cotton in potassium alum acetate and sodium acetate.  I’ve used both of them before but not together. Added to this is some ferrous sulfate and some copper sulfate. Don’t ask me the proportions because I  blew it and will have to figure that out better than I did. After soaking overnight, I saw that I must have made it too strong so there were brownish marks here and there that looked like rust.  Not a big deal to me, but I added more water to my solution for the next batch. Now, I didn’t listen well enough to my friend and forgot that she told me to wait some time before washing. And below are the results of my deaf ear.

Japanese Maple Leaves.before.

Jap. Maples. After.
Above photos: Top, before washing; Below, after washingSumac. before.
Above photos: Top, before washing; Below, after washing

I won’t be washing out  the next rest of this batch for at least 3 weeks now!

Next, I wanted to achieve something extremely textural, so I opted to overprint some that I didn’t think much of (well, also because I’m out of plain white fabric – it’s on order.)

Same batch of mordant with some brown marks.  The bottom one has a huge splotch from the overly strong mordant. I also sprinkled some red seeds from a sumac seed head all over the fabrics.IMGP0074 copy

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Sumac Overprint and detail of it.


Big Sumac

detail Big Sumac.
Big Sumac overprint and detail of it.

These are excellent for textile collage! They’ll act as blenders and they remind me of batiks, that all-over textural print.

My next foray was into the more abstract where I met with some more pleasant surprises. The technique is actually a form of shibori with some folding and clamping.

IMGP0058 copyIMGP0066 copy I love the combination of rust from the metals, which are all tin can lids. of which I now have a growing collection. And here’s a peek at something I’m working on now.

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Embellishing with some hand embroidery at the moment.

Linking up with Nina Marie for Off The Wall Friday.  I think she has a pot of coffee on too! Thanks for stopping by!

And thanks for stopping by!


Slow Work Finished


This one was a long time in the making. I have to say, I love when I can sit and do hand embroidery. This one is such a free flow recording of mark making  left to the Muses devices. I’d say it’s one of those pieces of art that is best described as emotional expression and it may actually be a fairly accurate description of a good part of my personal internal struggle as my art practice develops. I can only see that now that it’s done.


I can’t honestly say that the issues have been entirely resolved but then again, are they ever? But there is some sense of direction taking place and for that, I am happy and looking forward!

Maelstrom.. detail 2.Maelstrom. detail 1.

Linking Up with Nina Marie

How Obsessive Are You?

As much as I like this, I may never do another like it.  It’s small.  Definitely small for all the detailed embroidery on it.  It took forever and a day. I do find embroidering to be relaxing but unfortunately I can’t sit long without my RLS kicking in so I end up standing even to do embroidery, which is not as relaxing as sitting in the rocker like a Grammy should. In fact, it’s downright obsessive.  And while I have my own brand of OCD, this is not it. For one thing, I don’t like waiting so long for the end result.  I only have a few more stitches to be done with this and then I’ll face it immediately so that it doesn’t end up unfinished for life!

Lush Life wip
Lush Life is almost finished. The main fabric is sunprinted.  The sashing is shibori dyed. 

LL detail

Are you obsessive in your work?  Or, like me, do you prefer to work looser and faster?