Hooked on Silk

A friend from church (who has a grown son named Kent) invited people to her house on Saturday to paint silk, and being the crafty individual that I am, I jumped at the chance. I'd never painted or done much of anything to silk before, so there was a bit of a learning curve as she walked us through the different techniques like choosing to paint it wet or dry, mixing or diluting the colors, using resist (kind of like batiking) if we wanted to separate out certain areas or keep white lines, etc. I decided that I'd just pick a few colors and go crazy trying out the different techniques to make sort of a sample piece, so armed with yellow, blue, and a bit of green paint, I attacked my 8" x 54" piece of silk.

I didn't have time to do resist that day, since it needs to dry for a long time to prevent paint from seeping through (and I was itching to get started!), but I painted large swaths of yellow, added some blue streaks and dots while the yellow was still wet, waited for that all to dry, painted more blue areas, went a little Jackson Pollack with spattering, added some green, sprayed the whole thing wet so that the colors would bleed a little more, and then sprinkled on some kosher salt that I'd mixed with green paint. The salt fell off when the whole thing was dry, leaving behind the tiny splotches.

I'm so impressed with how this turned out that I'm now totally hooked and have already gone back to her house for more silk painting. I told her that I actually had trouble sleeping on Saturday night because I couldn't stop thinking about other things I could try. She has the wood frames already made, plus all the supplies, so this is much easier there than if I decided to stock up on all of it myself. Plus, she's great, and she loves playing with Kent while helping me brainstorm colors and techniques. She's working on some of her own right now, including one that will have a waterfall — I'll try to photo it sometime while I'm there, because it's going to be amazing. This first one I've made, after I've ironed and washed it, is going to become a playsilk for Kent (which I might steal for fun from time to time), but there are more of these in my future, and I've already tried out some resist on one of my next pieces to make effects with lines. It's taking a lot of restraint for me not to snatch up a bunch of stuff from Dharma Trading Co. this very instant. All the Lost fans can giggle at the Dharma name... I definitely did when I first heard about this place. It so rocks, though. I feel this incredible urge to find 1001 uses for a painted silk scarf.

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So cool! I can't wait to see more.
That is beautiful!! Wow. If you keep this up, perhaps I will commission one from you! Also, I love the Lost/Dharma thing, LOL.
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