Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gerry Congdon

Experimenting to find an over dye color: I tore off the extra ¼ yard of fabric and cut it into several pieces that were clamped and  tied. I mixed up six different dyes: strong orange, rust orange, basic red, avocado, bright green, and golden yellow.

I compared the results, and decided to go with Strong Orange. I liked the possibilities of working with the brownish tones.
I folded the fabric lengthwise in accordion pleats. I then folded it in the other direction - again in accordion pleats. I secured it with rubber bands.
This is what it looked like at that stage:  

I wanted to discharge an image, so I tested a sample of the fabric.
Next I created a large silkscreen, with a repeating image, using masking tape.

I discharged the image, but I had trouble with the discharge paste and the screen. I may have used the wrong mesh size. The result was not as crisp as I had intended. I decided to screen print pigment (textile paint) over the discharged images. I chose Lumiere brand in Burnt Orange. I used vinyl mesh and bubble wrap for the pattern.

I hoped the printing would add depth and interest to the linear images. I used a variety of Lumiere paints at this stage. I rolled paint onto the mesh with a foam roller and then used my hands (in gloves) to press the paint onto the fabric.
I added thermofax screened circles to the piece because I hoped they would echo the circles which had been tie-dyed at the beginning. (the original cloth) I drew a circle with India Ink and a brush in order to get the image for the thermofax. After I came up with a pleasing arrangement, I cut circles from paper and pinned them to the fabric. This helped in the placement of the printed circles. I used Lumiere Metallic Rust paint.

For the final printing, I wanted to fill in the areas around the linear shapes, but I wanted a calmer, receding pattern. I decided to stay with the Bubblewrap patterning. This time, I used blue and a bit of metallic turquoise.

Gerry Congdon can be reached at

1 comment:

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