Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Monday, 13 June 2016

Colours of the Sea

Last year on a beautiful sunny day I had a coffee at the Turks Head on St Agnes, Isles of Scilly looking out over incredibly the beautiful aquamarines and blues of the sea. I had my watercolours and camera with me to record the colours and the scene. Fast forward nearly a year to my studio and the inspiration for a silk scarf.
I used Kniazef French dyes that give beautiful vibrant colours on silk.

Recently I read a post by Husnah Rafeth in the Silk Painters International (SPIN) group on Facebook about steaming silk using a pressure cooker with the weights.
She has made a youtube video about this, you can see it here

I lost the weights to my 1970s vintage pressure cooker and they are no longer made so I could only use it as a steamer and I have done this for years. Silk dyes must be steamed for up to 3 hours to make them permanent. The silk must be rolled in paper or cotton so that no part of the silk touches any other part during the steaming process. A foil cover prevents drips falling on the package and spoiling the design before the colour becomes permanent. All time consuming.
I put a request on Streetlife and within hours was offered some vintage weights.

So the pressure cooker was ready to rock and roll and I was itching to make a new scarf. The other difference was that Husnah folds the silk then wraps it in muslin. I tried this and it worked well all steamed in 25 min. with no unwanted transfer of dyes. I am not sure whether this would be the case with coloured or metallic guttas. I'll do some tests first before putting them on a scarf.

This one is a longer scarf and slightly different colours.


Cath Stonard said...

Your scarf is just beautiful, the colours remind me of the sea in New Zealand too. I'm really into blues at the moment, I think it is after staying with my daughter earlier this year with the blues of the sky and sea.

Colours and Textures said...

Thanks Cath. New Zealand must be lovely.

Anna Parkes said...

Lovely sea colours here done to perfection. I didn't realise we have a Scilly connection. Have we met?
Best wishes

Colours and Textures said...

Thanks Anna. We met in the Tresco Gallery last year and talked briefly about blogging before we had to dash for the boat! We stayed at the Island hotel several times and enjoyed the paintings there especially the Anthony Frosts and an atmospheric oil painting by Hugo Grenville of the quay at Old Grimsby and of course the goodies in the gallery.
Tessa xx

vanity andme said...

These are fabulous and would liven up anything plain. A great accessory x

Colours and Textures said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.