Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Soy wax resist

 I have taken some fabric dyeing classes from Jo Fitsell (awesome lady, awesome teacher) so have done soy wax resist previously in her classes.  I went to the fancy local art supply store to buy soy wax (actually stopped by twice about two weeks apart) and they were always out.  I really did not want to have to order online and pay for shipping.  While I was reading up on soy wax resist on the internet, someone talked about using microwavable soy wax that was meant for candle making, but using it for fabric resists.  Hello Michael's, here is my 40% off coupon, and we were off and running. I went to the thrift store and bought a Corningware dish with a handle and a lid that was microwave safe.  It was not super big, so I could fit about half the wax in it.  I microwaved it a minute at a time, as the directions said to be very careful as it could catch fire.  Once it was melted, I put the lid on it and I took it outside to my outside table setup (the lid was nice as I didn't have to worry about spilling hot wax on myself while walking there).  For this adventure, I had my standard 6'x 2.5' table. On top of this I put my two pieces of insulation board next to each other, which I typically use for sun printing. I taped them together with blue painters tape.  This made my work surface about 6' x 6'.  I then taped two layers of blueprint paper on top, as the wax will leak through the fabric and I didn't want it harming my insulation board.

I did not pin down my fabrics. I just set them on top of the paper. Once I added marks with the soy wax, I moved them onto the grass in the shade while the wax hardened. I used a 2" wide coarse paint brush from Home Depot. It is my understanding the brushes should be natural hair, not synthetic.  I also like to use a metal spoon to dribble and sort of write with (this is now a craft spoon and cannot be used for food). I own one tjanting tool and used it a bit, but not much.

This fabric is a somewhat heavy silk that had been dyed previously but was dreadfully boring. I added circles and dribbles.

Below is an ice dyed fabric that I want to make look like a galaxy or constellation. It is hard to see the wax, I did a sphere offset to the left from the center, a couple of oval rings around it and spattered wax to mimic stars.

 This is another ice dyed fabric also to become a space quilt.  I have a large blob offset to the left and splatters radiating from it. The first picture is when I was just starting and the second is after I was done applying wax.

This was a previously folded and dyed piece of silk, I added lines (the dark ones are the wax) and spatters.

 This is a silk that had color removed and was re-dyed and still was super boring. I used the bottom of a soda can to make the circles.
The wax should look dark on the fabric, not white. If it is white, check the back side of the fabric and make sure the wax is penetrating through the fabric. If it is not penetrating, the wax needs to be a little warmer.  There are lots of white spots on my fabrics, but from the back side they all penetrated.

Also, please note that when you put your fabrics in the shade and go work on another piece, make sure you move the pieces as the shade moves. The wax will re-melt if left in the sun. I had an "Ack!" moment during this session.

My soy wax pieces have hardened, so they get a dip in my dye batches. Today we have dark cherry (with black added), blue (with some black added) and a mix of Wasabi and Olive Green. When bucket dyeing, the fabric, and therefore the wax, will get scrunched, which will create interesting cracks in the wax. 

Next time, the results.

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