Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Painting a Crepe de Chine Top in Nummy Fuchsia

It’s no secret that I adore fuchsia. So just recently it was particularly exciting for me to paint myself a new fuchsia top. These photos

silk painting, fiona stolze

Wet sculpted crepe de chine

here document the first few steps that I took for my creation. I decided to do without the frame and just make lots of mess on the plastic sheeting on the table.

In contrast to the orange camisole top I recently sewed and painted from scratch, I decided to use a pre-sewn ladies top for this job. This garment was sewn at the shoulders, so all I have to do is pin the sides together and sew it up when I have completed all the usual stages of painting, steaming and ironing.

The first step involved spreading the top out on the plastic and giving it a good soak. The next part is fun because I push the silk around, sculpting it into different shapes, twisting and moulding it until it sits in a way I am happy with. I then mix my dyes, or dilute them accordingly, select the brushes I’m going to use and off I go.

Once the dyes have been applied I then leave the top to lie and dry for 24 hours. You have to really make sure it’s in a safe place and can sit undisturbed without any kitties or hamsters going for a stroll and stretching out on it, or chewing on the edges for a taste. Come to think of it, you have to make sure no members of the family are likely to trip and slosh their coffee over it either…

silk painting, fiona stolze

Painting the dyes on the silk

I’m lucky in this respect as I have an attic room which other family members very rarely enter and they know that my artistic endeavours have absolute priority up there. 🙂

Okay, 24 hours have passed without any major mishaps. What next? I carefully lift up the top and shake it out to see how the colours have dried and how the patterns look. Pinks and fuchsias always look very exciting and uplifting so I can’t wait to have a look the next day after painting. I never rush to steam my work after painting. It normally spends a full day on the table or hanging before I get it ready to be steamed. This ensures it has thoroughly dried and sort of set before the next stage.

The next job was to lay out the paper and roll the top up on the pole to be steamed to fix the dyes. Normally I take care to lay the silk out really flat to ensure no creases are there as they tend to get steamed into the silk. However, the magic

silk painting, fiona stolze

Fuchsia silk top ready for steaming

fairies always help out when I do wet sculpting because I roll up the crushed silk and yet it doesn’t seem to have any effect whatsoever on the final outcome. I suppose that blows that myth straight out of the window. Ah, old habits die hard. Next time I steam, I’ll be taking ages to ensure that nothing is crushed. Talk about double standards…:-)

One thing I don’t do though is touch unsteamed silk in any way in case it gets messed. Any of you who steam silk know how easy it is to get the slightest bloop on the silk. So that is the main reason why I don’t iron any creases out when the dyes are still not fixed.

Okay, that’s as far as I’m going to go in this post. Here are the first few pictures. I’m hoping to do the second part tomorrow to let you see the last stages and the final item.

See you then.


May 9, 2010 - Posted by | PAINTINGS IN PROCESS | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] item looks like. If you’d like to read the two blog post, you can find them here –  (1) Painting a Crepe de Chine Top in Nummy Fuchsia, and (2) And This is What the Top Looks Like Now It’s […]

    Pingback by Silk & Art Newsletter | Tips, Hints and Latest News from Silk & Art | » June Newsletter | June 27, 2010 | Reply

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