Imagine a piece of shimmering, white, silk stretched on a frame. You dip your brush into some liquid dye and touch it to the silk. Instantly there’s an explosion of brilliant color as the dye spreads over the silk. Add another color and the dyes dance together on the silk, moving and blending as they go. Add water or salt, and spontaneous organic textures develop and take on a life of their own. It's fun to watch the dyes and silk interact - I hope you'll enjoy the outcome in my wearable and hangable silk art!
I use several different types of silk in my work, from sheer chiffon to heavyweight dupioni. Each has its own personality, each dances differently with the dyes. In my basic technique I brush liquid dyes onto stretched, white silk. For clearly defined shapes, I use either gutta resist to enclose the dyes, (serti technique) or wax to mask dyed areas (batik technique). Movement of the fluid dyes is a characteristic feature of silk painting, and as they dry, the dyes create spontaneous and unpredictable textural effects. As the dyes move and merge on the silk, the result is a creation that can never be reproduced exactly, so that each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.
I love that painting on silk is such an interactive process, filled with life. It’s a dance between the artist, the liquid, transparent colors spreading across the surface, and the silk itself, which influences how the dyes react with it. I love the way the already luminescent silk develops extra sparkle when it is dyed. As they dry, the dyes create spontaneous and unpredictable, organic textural effects, making each piece a unique surprise. What’s not to love?