Last night was the first of our Happy Hour programs here at the shop. This is a summer program that we do, just for fun, to introduce our customers to techniques that they might never try on their own. The free demonstrations are scheduled for Monday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 throughout the summer and each one features something different. Some are messy, some are really messy, some are "artsy" some are just unbelievably cool! After the demo, if you want to stick around and try your hand at the technique you are welcome to roll up your sleeves and get involved.
I have a pretty extensive background in the crafting industry and this program allows me to have some fun with products on the creative edge of the quilting world. I enjoy it as much as the participants! I get a kick out of watching a room full of women (guys are welcome too) get excited about their creativity. One of the reasons that they get excited is that I can break down an unbelievable technique to the lowest common denominator and still have a product that you want to own.
No fiber reactive dyes, not breathing issues, just Sharpie Markers.
Believe it or not these scarves were "painted" with those same markers that your Mom used to write your name in your clothes for summer camp... they come in better colors now!
If you want to give it a try at home, it is extremely easy, here are the basics of what you need:
White silk scarf, preferably pre-hemmed
Sharpie markers in the colors of your choice (I prefer broad tip and darker colors)
Clean spray bottle
Tape, paper towels, protected work surface, iron
Using a warm iron, press the wax side of a piece of freezer paper to the back of the silk scarf. This helps stabilize the silk so that you can write on it.
Tape the freezer paper to your protected work surface (I do mean protected, you are working with permanent markers and alcohol, both of which will ruin the surface of your kitchen table)
Draw your design using the Sharpie Markers. Draw ANYTHING, you don't need to be an artist! the deep blue/purple flowers in the photo were drawn as "bulls eyes". Make simple shapes and lay in the color. Don't worry about details. The more color the better in my opinion.
Note: Keep you color selection to one area of the color wheel, green, blue, purple or red, yellow, orange for example. Colors opposite one another on the color wheel create brown when they mix and the next step is to make the colors run.
Once you are happy with your design, fill the spray bottle with alcohol. You can add a bit of water to the bottle if you like, this is the experimental part of the process. The markers are alcohol based and spraying them with alcohol will make them run. Water alone will not move the color, but the more water in the mix the more movement you will get when the alcohol hits the color. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. Experiment!
As soon as your colors have blended to the point where you are happy with them (in a minute or less) peel the freezer paper off the back and rinse the scarf in cool water until the water runs clear. Protect your ironing surface with clean paper towels and press the scarf dry to heat set the colors.
That's the basic idea, now you can experiment! Sprinkling sea salt on the surface before you spritz with the alcohol will create cool texture. Adding anything to the surface that causes a chemical reaction will create texture. An old toothbrush will create texture too......
Are your creative juices flowing yet?
Have some fun!