Tuesday 25 May 2021

Colour families

Last week I went to a three day workshop called Colour Families and Mark Making led by Leslie Morgan from Committed to Cloth.  She rarely teaches outside of her own studio so we were extremely fortunate that she agreed to teach at Littleheath Barn Studio.

A colour family is where you take two colours of procion dyes and mix them them together using a matrix.  Can you guess what colour I used?

Actually it was't turquoise on the first day!  I used Golden Yellow and Scarlet in equal parts to make an Orange (top left) and mixed this with black (bottom right).  Each colour that you mix is scraped on to soda-soaked cotton to keep a record of the colours.

This is the fabric washed out, ironed, cut up and stuck into my sketchbook.

During the first two days I concentrated on the Golden Yellow/Scarlet mix to black, then turquoise and then a turquoise/black mix.   The first one is a paler version of the family above.  To achieve this I added 4 teaspoons of print paste to each pot of the colours.

A new family using Scarlet/Golden Yellow and Turquoise.

And lastly in this series, Golden Yellow/Scarlet with a mix of 2 parts Turquoise and 1 part Black.

I used the colours in the pots to scrape onto larger pieces of cotton fabric.  This was the first family I made.  The photo was taken after it was washed out and ironed.

This was done with the last family shown above.  This is what the colours looked like whilst the dye was wet.

This is the same fabric washed and ironed.

The next two photos show two pieces I also scraped dye onto and printed on.  I used larger pieces of fabric and cut each of them in two.  Half I washed and ironed and you can see below after two days of 'batching'*.  The other half of each piece has been left to batch for longer to see if it makes any difference to the colour if you leave it soak in longer.

I'll tell you about day 3 next time.

Thanks for joining me today.

*Batching is a process where you leave dry dyed fabric rolled up in plastic for several days to allow the dye to sink into the fabric.

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