Sunday, January 20, 2013

Digital image slips - ch 8

This part of the module gave me a choice of looking into shibori techniques or using digital prints in slip design.  I've done quite a bit of shibori dyeing in the past and have tended to avoid using digital prints in my work so thought I'd take the challenge now to persevere with digital printing a little more.  My lack of enthusiasm has arisen from many, many disasters combining fabric and my printer in the past so I did a bit more research, took a few more recommendations to heart and tested things with a lot of trepidation.  To cut a long story short I would definitely recommend the following:
  • carrier paper / sheet for fabric - use a complete A4 label peeled off its backing.  This is so much better than spray glue, glue sticks, freezer paper, and once the fabric is removed the label has sufficient stickiness to be used several times again.
  • if you can, use pigment inks in your inkjet printer.  After wrecking my previous printer with jammed paper, threads etc I bought a pretty cheap Epson printer just for such a purpose.  A papermaker and bookbinding friend recommended that I use Epson's pigment inks instead of 'normal' ones as she found they would could be 'set' with heat into fabric directly, so much easier than pretreating fabric.  I've since found that the digital prints I made using these inks directly onto untreated fabric are just as good as those onto fabric pretreated eg. with Ink Aid or Bubblejet Set, and don't wash off either. Of course this may be different for other printers but I'm glad I've found a method that works for me.
8.1 The image on the left was printed on silk organza pretreated with Ink Aid: the one on the right on untreated organza.  The left image is brighter I think but the right one is stronger.

To demonstrate the techniques tried and those that I prefer I made a few samples (all about A4 size):

The background in 8.2 is a posterized digital print of a magnolia leaves transferred from TTP (T-shirt transfer paper) on to pelmet vilene texturised with stuck threads, scrim fragments.  I thought that the texture would show through the transferred print but this was not very successful; I just lost fragments of the print in the roughness.
The slips on the far left are cut from magnolia image directly printed on to cotton fabric, adhered to dyed  hessian fragments. These slips and 2 slips from previous work are attached to the background under couched threads pulled from the hessian.

8.3: Images of my drawings in a previous post were printed directly onto cotton (coloured image) and cut into strips, and on silk organza (larger b/w drawing).  These have layered onto a monoprinted background with 2 non-digital slips.

8.4: Again a rather subtle sample using printed organza over printed dyed cotton.
A large image of one of my drawings is printed directly on to dyed cotton, 3 slip shapes cut out then ironed onto white cotton backing.  The top layer of organza was printed directly with several scattered images of my drawings.  The organza also has a larger slip shape cut out (left of middle) echoing the drooping leaf beneath.

As you can tell I'm particularly interested in digitally printing on organza - love the shadow effects.

8.5 uses the leaf image in 8.2 background printed both on organza (in strips layered over my printed bleach drawings) and printed on to silk chiffon (used to create wired 3D slips).  The curvy shape of the slips is echoed in the rippling cabling stitching attaching the strips.

Although I had decided to miss the shibori option I took one of the magnolia photo images directly printed on silk organza and tied ceramic baking beans in a Mokume shibori pattern to create a raised form of slip.  The silk organza was steamed for 20-30minutes then allowed to cool and completely dry overnight before the beans were removed.

8.7 The shibori silk was attached to a posterized image of a magnolia flower printed directly onto cotton lawn.  Free machining echoed the lines of the print and the bubbles of the shibori.


sharon young said...

I love where you're going with this collection, they're very exciting, I did just the same as you with the printer only it was my husband's!

Catherine said...

Wow! These are just gorgeous! Epson printers are great - never complain and will accept just about anything. I hadn't heard of pigment inks, but they give great results. I must look out for them.