Laureen just finished a 3 week residency in our silkscreen studio. I had been eagerly anticipating her stay as it is not often enough for me that we get in residents who are working on textiles and experimenting with new techniques and certainly not in the scale that Laureen is working on. It was a great learning experience to watch her work, and, lucky for those of you who weren’t here, Laureen is documenting her process and her techniques on her blog. Laureen writes:
“I have been experimenting with pattern design and screen printing fiber reactive dye onto cotton. My first attempts simply followed the instructions on the sodium alginate package. However when I mixed alginate with fiber reactive dye and let it cold-cure, the dye bled and the pattern lost it crispness. I will write about this in detail later. At any rate my experiments entail combining rice paste or cornstarch with alginate to create dye pastes similar in consistency to acrylic based silkscreen inks. If applied correctly they do not bleed when screened onto damp fabric.
So…WSW has large padded tables with registration rails for printing onto fabric larger than my 4×8 masonite table. I could cover the table with plastic sheeting and lay the base layer of dye down before printing the patterns. Also I could print on heavy canvases…”