I’m in the middle of making a ‘rusty’ journal using the pieces I have made with my mystery fabric and wanted to use some text at the front of the book. So I took the definition of rust from the dictionary, made a Thermofax screen and used an oxide red acrylic paint to transfer the text to the page.
I also used the screen to print onto a rusty background. This one is acrylic paint.And this one is Metallic Iron Paint with a Rust Activator over the top – but it didn’t work. I think maybe the fabric used is too porous.
Last year at Ally Pally I was very taken with this piece of work by Sally Paton in the students exhibition and had been meaning to try using text on fabric with Xpandaprint.So I then decided to use Xpandaprint through the screen. I have a few ideas in mind and thought I would play around first to see what effects I could get.
This first one shows white Xpandaprint on a rusty background after it has been heated. The close up shows more clearly the Xpandaprint standing proud of the surface.I wanted coloured Xpandaprint but am not quite sure how to do this without it affecting the qualities. This sample has been mixed with acrylic paints – from a tube. The mixture was slightly runny – I wonder if the heavy body acrylics would work better. The colour does of course come up much lighter as I only used a very small amount.The next idea was to use fabric paints. I didn’t have the colours I would have liked so mixed some yellow with black and added a small amount of gold metallic. This time I mixed the paints first before using some of the mixture to slowly add to the Xpandaprint. I was only using a small amount of Xpandaprint at a time as not only is it far too expensive to waste but it needs to be worked with quite quickly.Then I got to wondering if perhaps I would get a darker colour with a powdered dye without it affecting the consistency of the Xpandaprint. I used Brusho powder but strangely enough the mixture went very runny – maybe it is the actual mixing process that makes this happen.This wasn’t very successful at all. The screen slipped and when heated the Xpandaprint text just merged together in places. For this next sample I mixed some disperse dye thickener (Manutex?) in with the Xpandaprint and Brusho – and at last I seemed to be getting somewhere. This print is on duck cotton. Seems to work well as the surface isn’t so porous.The next one is also a duck cotton background but it has been coated with white acrylic. The screen slipped all over the place on this one. I haven’t been mounting my experimental Thermofax screens in a frame, just using duck tape around the edges as per the Clare Fenton DVD.
I decided to paint over this one – spur of the moment, so not so good. I know I could get texture by using a stencil and even using a different product i.e. molding paste but with the screens the edges appear a lot sharper, especially with text. Obviously, I wouldn’t bother to colour the Xpandaprint if I were going to paint over it.And this is the crow stencil I used on the painted hanging I showed recently.Definitely a process that is worth investigating further.
But this here is more like what I have in mind.
Screened on to a layer of rusted scrim placed on a rusted cotton fabric.And what also appealed to me was when heating the Xpandaprint I had a mini-bonfire in the workroom – results here:I shall try again with this but making the text at least twice the size it is at the moment which I think will help to get more definition. I think too, that although the scrim was lying relatively flat it may have benefited from being hooped before printing.