At the beginning of September I went on a Jo Budd workshop in Eastbourne, although Jo comes from Bungay in Norfolk. Jo is a trained artist but works in textiles and has a method of working with Procyon dyes whereby she uses them like paints, mixing her colours in a palette using the thickener Manutex.
Every artist seems to have their own method of working with Procyon dyes and I find it useful, every now and again, to brush up on technique and ideas.
Jo makes up the basic dye powders with water and makes up the Manutex with chemical water. She then takes what she required from the dye pots to mix up the required secondary and tertiary colours and it is at this stage she uses the Manutex. She will also apply chemical water to her fabrics if she wishes to use them wet but quite often she applies the dyes to dry fabric – obviously you get different effects. She does not add chemical water direct when making up her basic dye colours as the “clock starts ticking” the minute you add the chemical water to the dye. So when she mixes a secondary or tertiary colour she uses the Manutex which contains the chemical water and then can create effects by applying, for example, the colour to a plastic surface to create a mono print or apply the dye direct to fabric using various brushes, sprays and mark making tools.
When I first did a workshop with Jo, besides adding soda ash as a fix for the dyes, she was also using a bullet steamer to fix the dyes. With limited space and facilities in Eastbourne Jo had simply bought a large electric water heater in which she has stood a trivet in the bottom so that the fabrics (wrapped around a cardboard tube) did not come into direct contact with the water. The fabrics were stood on the trivet and the water brought up to temperature and the fabrics steamed for three minutes before the fabrics were then rinsed. Alternatively you could steam iron the fabrics on both sides for three minutes before rinsing. Jo follows this method to ensure colour and light fastness.
The fabrics could be overdyed with unthickened dyes as required.
I composed the two landscapes below with the fabrics I’d dyed – think they have possibilities.
Southend has said goodbye to a sculpture commemorating the First World War – Poppies: Wave moved onto the next stop on a national tour. Poppies: Wave, by Paul Cummins (artist) and Tom Piper (designer), was installed at Barge Pier, in Gunners Park, part of the old ranges which has a long military history, and was a perfect setting for this art work. Most poignant was the playing of the last post every evening at sunset, well worth seeing if you should get the chance.
“Poppies: Wave, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks, was originally seen at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. “
It can currently be seen at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial until the 19th November, 2017.