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      Discharge Dyeing is a process where one removes or discharges the dye from fabric with some sort of caustic medium such as bleach. Most commonly seen used on Black cotton fabric, the dye removal process reveals under-layers of dye until, if the bleach is left on the fabric too long, the bleached area will disintegrate (and bleach only works on natural fabrics such as cotton). Time is therefore a key element in the process. The longer the bleach solution is left on the fabric, the lighter the remaining color will be. Black fabric is surprisingly made up of many layers of color and usually discharges from dark brown all the way through rust to a light beige.

       Each fabric dye batch is different so no two black fabrics will discharge to the same exact color. The process is somewhat magical because you can stand there and spritz your fabric with a bleach solution or draw or paint on it with Soft-Scrub or a bleach pen and then watch as the color changes right before your eyes. It is a bit like watching film develop. This process is very organic and amazingly spontaneous. The results are immediate and often surprising. Whatever you can do with a pencil (draw), paint (brush, splatter, dab, screenprint, print, stamp) or dye (tie-dye, immerse, shibori) you can probably do with the discharge process with a few major cautions: Time is your enemy and bleach is caustic and will bleach fabric it comes in contact with so take the proper precautions if you wish to try it. (See more in Glossary)

       Rust Dyeing in the Fiber Art world means literally staining your fabric with Rust –-on purpose. Cotton and Silk are the best fabrics to use with this technique. Rusting takes place best when you spray the fabric with a solution of white vinegar and water then placing metal items with iron content onto the wet fabric. Metal washers, filings, wire, steel wool are some examples. Chrome and Stainless Steel won't rust. Cover the metal pieces with plastic and weigh them down with a heavy object to create more distinct images. If possible, bag the entire project for 24 hours then uncover and rinse in a water-salt solution and soap and water. This process is very spontaneous and unpredictable and results in lovely, warm, rusty- brown shapes that may have distinct edges, be blurred shapes or be larger areas of very organic-looking rust-brown color. (see Glossary for expanded technical details)

       Other Surface Treatments include: FABRIC PAINTING, FABRIC PRINTING, MIXED-MEDIA, PATINA, RESIST Technology Tools include: COMPUTER / DIGITAL MANIPULATION, DIGITAL IMAGERY, INKJET PRINTING, PHOTOSHOP Elements, PHOTO TRANSFER

Please consult the Glossary for more details about these processes and tools.

Scroll to view Samples below »                          (see Contact page or My Online Shop for info on purchasing artwork)




nite

Night flight #1      5" x6 1/2"
Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Discharged cotton fabric with free-motion stitching for dimension and texture.

I wanted to make this look like an insect flying into the night. (Privately owned)











moon

Harvest Moon      11" x 10"
Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Discharged Cotton Fabric, free-motion stitched for dimension and to enhance the design.

Discharged fabric with "masked" hand shapes placed within a circular shape later
free-motion stitched with hundreds of French Knots provide interesting texture.



par






Parsley      8" x 10"
Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Discharged Cotton Fabric, free-motion stitched for dimension and to enhance the design

Discharged fabric with "masked" sprigs of parsley from my garden was free-motion stitched to enhance the central image.(Privately owned)



like



Like       9" x 9"
Cotton Fabric, Thread, Buttons
Techniques: Digital printing on fabric, fabric piecing, embellishment

Cotton fabric was Digitally Printed with original phrases using the term "Like" which were cut up and
pieced back together in a Log Cabin quilt design format with buttons added for visual texture. (Privately owned)



baker

A View from Baker Court #3       10"x8"
(Part of a series A View from Baker Court    SEE ALL »»)
Discharged Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: Discharging Cotton Fabric, Free-motion stitching

Elements of an original photograph were traced and printed to create a template which was cut up with portions removed during
the discharging process to create a landscape in fabric which was Free-motion stitched as a "quilt sandwich" for dimensional effects.

view2

A View from Baker Court #4       10" x 8"
(Part of a series A View from Baker Court    SEE ALL »»)
Cotton Fabric, Rusting Solution, Thread
Techniques: Screen printing, Rusting process on Fabric, Free-motion stitching

Cotton fabric was screen-printed (made from an original photo) with an iron oxide powder rusting solution
(which stains the fabric in the printed areas) then free-motion stitched as a "quilt sandwich" to create an interesting fabric landscape.











view5

A View from Baker Court #5       10" x 8"
(Part of a series A View from Baker Court    SEE ALL »»)
Digital Image Transfer Paper, Cotton Fabric, Thread
Techniques: A Digital Image made from an original photo was transferred by heat to fabric, Free-motion stitching.

The Original photo was printed onto special transfer paper using an inkjet printer then placed on the background fabric and
heated until the image was transferred to the rust-stained background fabric which created an aged effect to the landscape image.

view7

A View from Baker Court #7"       10" x 8"
(Part of a series A View from Baker Court    SEE ALL »»)
Cotton Fabric, Printing Block, Block Printing Ink, Thread
Techniques: Printing Block created from an original photo, Free-motion stitching

Background fabric was printed with a Block Print based on an original photo then Free-motion
stitched as a "quilt sandwich" to create dimension and visual interest in this fabric landscape.


hands

Disaster     22" x 16"    Hands   Series
Cotton, thread, Mounted on masonite with rustic wood frame
    Techniques: Discharge dye process, Free-motion machine stitching (Thread Sketching), French knots

"Disaster is an early Discharge dye piece. I had cut out silhouettes of my hands, placed them down on the black fabric and put a few other items on top or underneath. I then sprayed over everything with a 4 to 1 bleach/water solution, waited about 10 minutes and as the rust color lightened to my liking, I put the fabric through the rinsing process. After drying and ironing, I was able to see the finished design which looked like a picture of a disaster happening and ultimately became the title of the piece. "

 

 

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Polly's Chicks    16 ½" x 12 ½"
Cotton, thread. Mounted on Artist's canvas
  Techniques: Discharge dye process, Free-motion machine stitching (Thread Sketching)

"Polly's Chicks is a recently completed artwork based on pet chickens owned by friends of mine here in Benicia. I photographed one of them, made a stencil and use both the positive and negative cut-outs to either resist the sprayed bleach solution (the black chicks) or cover up everything else and allow the center chick to receive a second spraying resulting in a much lighter figure. A few smaller bits of painter's tape was placed on the center figure to provide some darker details and I also dabbed dots of Soft-scrub to make eyes on the black chickens. Once finished with the rinsing and drying process I had to decide how to stitch the piece. I gave the chicks some detail and dimension but it became clear that the chicks need to be standing on something so I free-motion stitched a zillion pebbles to emulate gravel. " (Privately owned)

 

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Encroachment    12 5/8" x 12 5/8"
Cotton, thread. Mounted on Artist's canvas
  Techniques: Discharge dye process, Free-motion machine stitching (Thread Sketching)

"Encroachment came about as I continued with my exploration of the Discharge dye process. I used painter's tape to create the winding trellis structures and covered all areas except the winding path and gave it a separate spraying of bleach solution before uncovering it and using other materials with gridded holes that allowed spray to lighten only those areas. The result, as you see, gives the impression of a path running under the trellis structures and off into the distance. Thread Sketching added dimension and texture to the piece."  

 

 

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pic

First Defense     9 " x 11"    Hands  Series
Cotton, tulle, thread
     Techniques: Discharge dye process, Free-motion machine stitching (Thread Sketching)

"First Defense is the second in my Hands series. After finishing the discharging of the black fabric (again using hand cut-outs on the black fabric to resist the bleaching solution), I sensed the hint of an image behind the hands. Working on that impression, I appliquéd white tulle in that area and stitched just enough to make it appear there was a face behind the hands trying to shield himself from impending danger."

 

 

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