Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Which Silk Quality Can I Use?

I often get asked by people which is the most suitable silk quality to use for silk painting. What I am sharing with you here is based on my personal experience over the years.

Generally light-weight silks are used for all silk painting and crafts. You would look for a medium-weight or heavy-weight if you wanted to make some quality, long-wearing clothing, such as a bride’s dress or a suit. I will be looking at silk weights in another post.

To answer the question in this post, the most important thing to know would be what you are intending to make. My personal favourite for wall hangings and other pieces which are meant to hang free and “float” is definitely pongee. It has that lovely wafting effect and is almost see-through depending on which quality you use. When you buy printed silk scarves, they are often extremely thin and this doesn’t allow for the same colour intensity as thicker ones. When I paint silk scarves, I don’t use anything under 8mm (momme – see upcoming post) and actually prefer to go for a 12mm for extra quality and still be able to use gutta.

satin silk background

Mandala Cushion on Silk: satin silk background

The mandalas that I mount and frame are all painted on satin silk, the Queen of Silks. It rightly deserves that name as it has an illustrious sheen, literally outshining all other silks I have worked with. When I have steamed a silk mandala, I don’t rinse the silk out until the bleeding stops, as with other items which are to be worn. This is because it is to be framed behind glass and so there will be no liquid, steam, etc coming into contact with it, nor will it be in contact with skin or other light-coloured fabrics. The disadvantage to washing out satin silk is that it slightly loses the beautiful sheen and most importantly, if there are any tiny creases, I cannot remove them with the iron. They simply “iron in”. So, for me, this is definitely not a quality to wash, only dry clean. Other types of silk can be washed by hand with care at your own discretion, although most manufacturers’ instructions (including mine) are for dry-cleaning only.

My personal favourite for clothing is crepe satin. This is a combination of satin silk on the top with a crepe backing. You can tell the difference when you have satin silk and crepe satin side by side. On the reverse, the satin silk is smooth and matt. The crepe satin, on the other hand, has a twisted weave. The advantage is that this quality is easier to drape and has a more elastic feel, not nearly so rigid as satin silk. My cushions are made with crepe-backed satin which makes them slightly softer.

An alternative to crepe satin is crepe-de-chine. This has the twisted weave on both front and reverse and doesn’t have the sheen of the satin. However, it is an ideal choice if you want to make gorgeous scarves, blouses, shawls, etc. It feels lovely against your skin.

Now, one or two words of caution. If you are intending to paint on these qualities, I would recommend you watch out for the thickness of the silk you want to work with. I have painted on different qualities over the years. My speciality is using gutta, the resist technique, which I will talk about in another post. After a bit of experimentation I came to the conclusion that the thicker qualities don’t allow the gutta to fully penetrate them, leaving gaps, so that you end up with a messy piece of work due to bleeding of colours. I wouldn’t recommend that you work with anything thicker than 12.5 for this reason.

I would also recommend that you wash any pongee or crepe-de-chine before you paint it and sew a garment, and this will avoid any disappointment due to shrinking. Silk has a tendency to shrink and that is one reason why people often find that their artwork turns a bit wavy after fixing due to the fact that the gutta lines don’t “fit” the shrunken silk any more.

You can pick up lovely offcuts of silk in bridalwear workshops. I would recommend only painting on them using washes of colour rather than attempt any resist and then cutting and sewing them into the desired article. Please refer to my upcoming post on silk weights for further details.

If this post has been of use to you, please let me know. If there is anything further to this you’d like to know, just ask below. If there is no comments box, click on the title of this post and one should appear. I look forward to hearing from you.

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October 3, 2008 Posted by | SILK PAINTING TECHNIQUES | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chartres Labyrinth in Blue – 1 of a Series of 6 Mandala Pictures on Silk

The mandala pictured here is one of a series of 6 silk pictures currently sold through Silk & Art . Its measurements are 50cm x 50cm x 4cm. A digital photo is taken of my original silk painting and the image is then printed onto satin silk, the same quality I paint my original silk mandalas on. These silk images are then carefully hand-embellished with gold gutta to give them a real touch of authenticity with a look and feel identical to the original. When dry, the image is then hand-stretched over a sturdy artist’s canvas to make it 3-D and also to give the front surface great stability. A woven designer label is attached to the bottom right-hand edge.

The great advantage of these quality prints is that they are extremely light resistant and can be dabbed clean when splashed. All inks used in the printing process are non-toxic.

These beautiful mandalas can be displayed as an enhancement to your living or work space in any way you choose. They pictures are timeless and universal in their application and will inspire you with their uplifting energy.

This image show the Chartres Labyrinth in Blue. A further 5 designs are available and can be seen on the Silk & Art website.

At present these silk pictures can be delivered within 28 days as each one is made specifically to order.

The parcel is then delivered via a 2-day courier service direct to the address you give us.

We now personally sell these products and others direct to our customers through our new website.

Please contact us for all further details and we will be happy to assist you.

Price per picture: £85  plus courier costs.

All payments are effected safely through PayPal. No account with PayPal is necessary for this method and you will not incur any charges.

Please contact us if you have any other questions and we will be very happy to help you out.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | SILK & ART PRODUCTS | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fiona Stolze’s Mandalas on Silk

When I recently attended one of Dr. Demartini’s events in Dublin I learned something which was to make a very deep impact on me. What you appreciate, appreciates.

In the days following this event I began to take some time to see where I was appreciating what I had in my life. I made extensive lists of everything I felt appreciation for in all areas and wrote them out so that I could look over them again and again, really tapping into that energy. And of course, I knew that I appreciated my mandala artwork which was hanging all over our home, bathing it in vibrancy and colour. Or was I really appreciating it fully? I went up into my attic studio and suddenly realised that there was so much more I could do to allow my mandalas to share their love and vibrancy. I discovered too many of my paintings stacked up against the walls and shelves, hiding themselves away, ashamed that there hadn’t been enough wall space for them all.

So I began a fascinating exercise which Dr. Demartini had shared with us. I created my “Gallery of Wealth”. I photographed each individual mandala and made a file of it, including its title, dimensions, when it was painted and the value I put on it. 🙂 Each sheet was printed out in full colour and popped into a polypocket within the gallery.

Slowly I built my collection until I had my album full. Suddenly each piece of artwork took on a different look. My appreciation of them was bringing about an appreciation of their worth in quite an amazing way.

It is so true that the universe is just waiting for us to declare our worth. When we can stand up and proudly declare our magnificence, fearlessly shining as a beacon of light, the universe envelops us in love and even more light, allowing us to explode in beauty and gratitude, inspiring others to greatness.

I would like to share with you a video of some of my mandalas, allowing them to speak for themselves, inspiring you to share your magnificence, too.

The beautiful music is “Gates of Morpheus”by Amethystium. Well worth checking out. I love their music.

Enjoy.

With love

Fiona x

July 28, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

SILK PAINTING WORKSHOP PHOTOS

Here are some lovely photos from the group that came together on June 28th to the silk painting mandala workshop. We had an amazing age range, as there was one daughter, mother and grandmother group who all came and had fun for the first time together.

The energy everyone created together was quite amazing and the end results were stunning. It’s truly a joy to see what participants create, especially those who have never painted before. Every single person has the ability within them to create beautiful artwork when given the right circumstances. See for yourself.

We spent the first part of the day talking about colours in general, their characteristics and how they go together. We then spoke about the silk and how the dyes worked on the fabric. Next we slowly created our basic mandala designs on the silk using gold gutta which we left to dry while we had a spot of lunch. After lunch we got started on the actual painting itself, applying the silk dyes with watercolour

brushes. You never really know before hand exactly what your painting is going to look like and there are so many different techniques you can use to create your work of art.

In this workshops we used effect salts on the background to break up the fields of colour and give lovely sprinkly, marbled effects.

Everyone left their artwork with me to be steamed in the next few days and then they received them by post a few days later. The fixed silk can be stretched on a backing board and then mounted and framed as desired. A big thank you to all of the wonderful artists who took part, particularly to Sarah-Beth our youngest participant, who is 10 years old.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , | Leave a comment