June 11, 2015
Kousa Dogwood – Work in Progress Update 3
I’ve been experimenting again with Jacquard Solar Fast as a printmaking medium. I worked with it last year, making prints of my Kousa dogwood. (You can read about it here.) A few months ago I got a new supply of the product (see disclaimer below), and have been waiting until the weather and the garden were both cooperative to try it out.
In this set of pictures I’m working with the color Red, which comes out of the bottle as a medium pink tone. It’s a new formulation, and does not have the ammonia odor of the product I used last year—in fact, it had no discernible odor at all. I used a sponge brush to spread it on pfd (prepared for dyeing) cotton broadcloth. I arranged a flowering branch from my Kousa on it, and held it in place with a few strategic small pins.
Above is the print as it was being exposed to sunlight, under a sheet of glass. It was a bright, sunny day, and I used an exposure of about 15 minutes, which worked out well. I used too much product, probably because I am accustomed to slathering a certain amount of paint when I make heliographic prints, and had a bit of condensation form under the glass. The resultant minor splotchiness in the solid areas of the print bothers me not a jot, as I feel like the variation adds interest. As I continued to make more prints I used less product, followed the instructions (ahem) and blotted away any excess.
Above is the print after exposure, after removing the branch, and before washing. Solar Fast needs to be washed out completely, so that the areas that were not masked do not develop color later. Directions for all of this can be found on the Jacquard website. Below is the finished print. I’m very happy with it.
Here is a similar print made with the color Purple. All of the colors I’ve tried have been just excellent, very rich and vibrant. The other aspect I really appreciate about Solar Fast is the ability to feather it out around the edges. I really like the effect and anticipate leaving some of the brush work visible when I later crop and stitch the print. I had a fun afternoon of printmaking, and am thinking about other ways to use this process and this product. I hope to bump this Kousa quilt up a bit further in the queue awaiting my attention. The prints are wonderful and deserve to be showcased.
Disclaimer: A Jacquard representative contacted me and generously offered to supply me with some samples of Solar Fast to experiment with. I accepted the offer, with no strings attached. Aside from the product I received no compensation, and my experiments and opinions are my own.