Monday, February 11, 2008

Monoprinting Monday

I celebrated the Monday holiday today by playing a bit with monoprinting. Funny, it's been an assigned task in a workshop I'm in but I've been putting it off because of the mess and just general uncertainty. And it seems that lately, everywhere I turn there is information about monoprinting... in the recent Quilting Arts magazine, in a gorgeous book I received recently (Print, Pattern and Color by Ruth Issett)... So, seeing as how it seemed that monoprinting was just going to jump into my face until I did it, that's what Caroline and I did this morning.

I started by playing with acrylic paints and printing onto white paper.

The exploration was supposed to be about "line," so that's what I fiddled with.

It was rather freeing, I must say, and very fast.

Then, I mixed up a batch of sodium alginate as dye thickener (yikes, what a lumpy mess), waited the appropriate time, then mixed dye powder in to try monoprinting with thickened dye onto fabric soaked in soda ash solution.

To my surprise, painting the dye onto the plastic resulted in the thickened dye just beading up, like so:

which made for lovely patterns, actually, but I wasn't prepared for that. Is that normal?

I've printed up a bunch of small fabric sheets but they're wrapped in plastic to cure overnight. It'll be interesting to see what those look like. So far, the thickened dye printing didn't catch my fancy, but maybe the results will be so stunning that I'll rethink.


  1. I have never done monoprinting with thickened dye. I have done paint and discharge. I find sodium alginate to be a very fussy medium to work with. I think if you added urea to the mixture it might work better. At least that is what Ann Johnston recommends.

    The pattern you got is very intriquing.

  2. I meant intriguing!!

  3. Have you tried mixing the alginate powder with denatured alcohol and then adding it to the water while beating with a hand mixer?

    That was my favorite method, though I haven't used it in a few years. I quit dying while I was pregnant and now I have a little one so I try to stick to non-toxic mediums.