Soy Wax, Paint and Teaching: Craft Napa

I will be teaching, You Can’t Resist This, a soy wax resist and paint class at Craft Napa in coming January 7-9, and I would love for you to join me. In this class we will explore what resists mean, how to layer and build color stories that work with your chosen motifs, and we will explore differing methods of working with paint to achieve pretty, layered, vibrant, unique and textural results. 

You Cant Resist This!

You may wonder what the differences are between paint and dye. A basic definition is that dyes bond with the very fibers of the cloth, while paint sits atop those fibers. Both are a good way to apply color to cloth, the biggest difference between the two being that with dye, the original feel or ‘hand’ of the cloth is retained because the dye binds with the fiber of the cloth at a molecular level. Paint, on the other hand, needs binders to adhere to the cloth, these binders can lend a stiff or heavy ‘hand’.

Oh, that green!

Paint binders have improved tremendously over the years and there are some paints out there that are really quite good. Paint also allows for easier access to workable, beautiful cloth without the learning curve associate with the use of dye. Don’t get me wrong, I love dye, it is my medium of choice, but as a teacher I understand that paint is a great entry into making original surface designed cloth, and that students have great success in using it.

Reminds me of eggs.

 

A video posted by Melanie Testa (@mellytesta) on


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

 

Printing, printing, printing.

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I have been printing away over here. Some pieces are batching, some washed, some on paper, some cloth. Today will be a continued day of printing. I find I like working small. These cloth pieces are about 8×12, or just a bit bigger. Previously I worked on fat quarters, 18×22″ or so. I find what works best for me now, is to rip those fat quarters into fat eight(?) or is it now, fat sixteenth? I will mix an interesting set of colors and then print as many sets of multicolor stamps, stencils or  jobbies as I possibly can. At the end of the day, I have entire groupings of cloth. It is almost as if I went to the quilting store and bought a full line of prints. Except I made these! This is very exciting.

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I really should do a pictorial inventory of all the projects I am working on right now, it would help me see the forrest through the trees. 

I find that even though I no longer have breasts, I miss the trappings of womanhood, seeing the outline of a bra under my shirts, taking it off at the end of the night. For women who had bilateral mastectomy, there are a few bra options out there or maybe just one. There are ‘bralettes’, though I think these are generally geared to teenagers (cheaply made in bright colors), camisoles, half camisoles, but really not much in the way of ‘under clothing’, and hardly anything that doesn’t push prothesis down your throat, as if you want to wear them. So I have been playing with the idea of making my own under things. The piece at the top is a trial sample, and I have to say, it works well. It looks good.

Seeing as I made my own pattern (and it worked), I figured I would go ahead and start using Natalie Chanin‘s techniques from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design book. I look forward to seeing how this piece turns out. The ‘bra’ at right, the one being stitched is smaller (less coverage) than the finished one it rests on. Perhaps I can perfect the pattern and make a set, so I can wear them whenever I want to! Perhaps I should make a printed and patterned bra (now we are talking).

I do need to shop the notions stores in the city and find suitable connectors and fasteners. Oh, darn!