These four mandalas were created using a new technique for me: Ice dyeing. After reading all I could find, and watching several clips from You Tube, I gave it a try.
There are many ways to figure a contraption, but the goal is to drain the water and dye away from the fabric, and contain the mess. I used a discarded fish rack from our grill, and securely tied it to a Rubbermaid container through the holes. This was not as stable as it should have been so don't follow my lead. You have to consider the weight of ice will be added to the top unevenly distributing the weight. That is why we experiment.
I started with a squared piece of Kona pfd, soda ask soaked and line dried. I quartered it into approximately 21" squares. Then each was pressed, folded, and repressed identically.
I added ice cubes from my freezer, and this is where it became a bit tipsy. Cubes were falling below the grate, and were difficult to fish out and replace without dumping the whole mess. I debated about re-figuring my set up, but the ice was already starting to melt. I had no idea how long the process would take so I held off.
Using a fan pattern, I generously sprinkled an assortment of cool colored Procion MX dyes atop the ice using a teaspoon. The next time around I think a tea sieve would be better to distribute the dye. I realize I like to place color where I want it, and this is a more random process.
The set up and process was started mid-morning, and the ice had not completely melted off until that evening. I worked inside my studio dye room which stays about 70 degrees F.
You can see the chartreuse colored dye didn't entire penetrate the fabric in places, and clumped. Some of the outer edges were slightly out of the melt pattern, and were left without color.
I waited until the next day to wash out the soda ash and extra dye. I was surprised at the colors, the difference in patterning, and the grill imprint left through several layers of fabric.
I do think they turned out quite beautifully, and appreciate the differences. You might see flowers or a Maltese Cross in each, or maybe the scale pattern jumps out at you. I'm taken with the one at the upper right because of the luminescent effect of the bright yellow behind the 'flower'. Something about mermaids calls out to me, but I don't know what yet.
How will I use them?
I'm not sure yet. I imagine they will speak to me if I look at them long enough. Right now I appreciate them for what they are. The real beauty behind the Procion MX dyes is they are completely colorfast at this point. The fabric is very washable because it's Kona cotton, and would wear well in anything from a utility quilt to an art quilt. I value having materials that haven't pigeon holed my use for them because of special care needs, and believe we should use beautiful things everyday--not save our best for when company comes.
For past Mandala work this week,
Come on, Doxie girls.
Today we sew.