06 March 2012


What a flurry of activity. I did get a few more things on the website Necessities or Not. I had this piece of silk I dyed using soy wax with MX dye in it. The critical thing is the temperature of the wax. It needs to be just melted - as low a temp as possible without going hard. First let me show you the piece then I'll tell you how I made it.

Now that you are looking at it, I'll explain what I did. I took this course from Jane Dunnewold at ProChemical and Dye in Massachusetts last year.
I took a piece of silk charmeuse and pre-treated it with vinegar (acid) but we used MX dyes.These marks  are all brush strokes of colored wax so first I brushed on soy wax with turquoise dye, then purple soy wax (remember these are liquid - hot) then fuchsia , then red. When you are doing this there is no real color in the wax. You are going by the labels. Oh yes, the waxes are melted in mini-loaf pans on an electric griddle. LOW HEAT. After all the various brush strokes, I took olive MX dye thickened with print paste (cold and gooey) and slathered it all over the piece. THEN I laid it on newspaper, covered it with newpaper, rolled the whole thing flat around a huge (3 foot) cylinder of hardware cloth and pinned it in place. Then the cylinder was lowered into a piece of stove pipe that was sitting in a pot (canner or lobster pot) of boiling water that was sitting on a double burner hot plate that was in turn sitting on the floor. Then we tossed a towel and lid on it and waited a half hour. Phew! When the time was up we popped our pieces in a container with Ivory liquid dish soap and boiling water and stirred with a chop stick. This was repeated until all the wax was out of the silk. I ironed mine dry.
THAT WAS ONE. Now do you want me to tell you how many I tried before this beauty came out. I didn't think so. This piece of fabric is like gold to me which is reflected in the price. I did make a few smaller ones with a much smaller price but no less beauty. I may blog about this technique this summer with pictures. OH, another tutorial!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, You can drool over this piece that some of you have seen in person. I may keep one of the small ones.... for old times sake. You can get a book or a DVD about using dye in soy wax here.

Thank God I've lost over 20 lbs since then.
What an honor to spend time with Jane.


  1. What a chance to follow a workshop with Jane! The result is stunning, but a lot of work!
    gr. Marjolijn

  2. I make encaustic art, but then the wax stays in. I like to try this some time. Beautiful piece!

  3. My goodness - that sounds like quite the process!!!

  4. Awesome outcome and your process is interesting....I may have to try it someday. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


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