At the moment I am taking an online class through Fibre Arts Take Two with Claire Benn called ‘Out of this Earth’ which uses natural and synthetic pigments along with Soya Milk to colour natural fabrics. It’s a brilliant course and Claire is an exceptional tutor.

Just thought I would share a few of my samples I have prepared so far. The weather isn’t quite right at the moment for drying and my workroom only has a portable heater – which I am loathe to turn on at the moment with the energy prices being as they are. So I am just pottering about really until the better weather comes.

The pigments, dubbed ‘Soypig’, are mixed with Soy milk and applied on the front of the fabric but it is the back side that will eventually be stitched into or whatever. Who knew that making Soya Milk is so easy. I drink it all the time so may just start making my own each day.

It’s amazing how different the back can look to the front all depending on which pigments are used.

This is a ‘mop-up’ piece of cloth, used to remove excess pigment from the plastic sheeting. The back is far more subtle and inspiring than the front.

Front of mop-up cloth
Back of mop-up cloth

I like the way the creases in the plastic sheeting underneath the fabric cause the soypig to puddle resulting in darker patches.

These are the results of using ‘thieves’ or ‘resists’ underneath the fabric.

I placed a collograph plate made with Lutradur and Xpandaprint underneath the fabric as a resist on this one. It’s actually a skeleton fish – funny how you can see the shape once you know what it is – it’s a bit blurred because of the density of the plate so will try with a much clearer collograph plate next time.

And finally…

You would be forgiven for thinking this is a considered/intentional piece, but no, it’s spillage/excess on the table transferred to the t-shirt I was wearing. I did have an apron on, but it wasn’t a waterproof one. Think I need longer arms and/or a slimmer body so I can reach across the worktable!!!

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