Saturday, November 24, 2012

My MSDS Demonstration@Zijdelings
Art Practice

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This blogspot exhibits many of my students outputs from a variety of workshops. There are one, two and five day workshops as well as workshops that have a different focus. Nevertheless, it always surprises me how much I learn from my students and how enthusiastic they are to learn and so for your convenience, I have listed the workshop posts below.

The University of Newcastle Multi-Media Course
The University of Newcastle (Newcastle and Ourimbah Campuses, NSW, Australia) 2008 to 2010.

One and Two Day Disperse Dye Workshops
Various Textile Groups (Australia) 2008 - 2011.

Five Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
“Wrapt in Rocky” Textile Fibre Forum Conference (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 29th June to 5th July 2008.

Five Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Orange Textile Fiber Forum (Orange, NSW, Australia) 19th to 25th April 2009.

5 Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Geelong Fiber Forum (Geelong, Victoria, Australia) 27th September to 3rd October 2009.

Two Day Workshop - Deconstructed and Polychromatic Screen Printing
Beautiful Silks (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 20th to 21st March 2010.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
“Wrapt in Rocky” Biennial Textile Forum/Conference Program (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 25th June to 1st July 2010.

Two Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 28th to 29th August 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day One)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day Two)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Advance Silk Screen Printing
Redcliffe City Art Gallery Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia) 10th April 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
The Victorian Feltmakers Inc. (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 14th May 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Felted and Silk Fibers)
Victorian Feltmakers Inc (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 15th May 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
SDA (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) 13th to 17th June 2011.

Five Day Disperse Dye Master Class – Barbara Scott
Art Quill Studio (Arcadia Vale, NSW, Australia) 15th to 19th August 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fiber Arts Australia (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 26th September to 1st October 2011.

One Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
Newcastle Printmakers Workshop Inc. (Newcastle, NSW, Australia) 5th November 2011.

One Day Workshops – Low Relief Screen Printing
Various classes within Australia.

Two Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 23rd to 24th June 2012.

Five Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fibre Arts@Ballarat (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) 6th to 12th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
EFTAG (Tuross Head, NSW, Australia) 13th to 14th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Zijdelings Studio (Tilburg, The Netherlands) 9th to 10th October 2014.

PCA - Celebrating 50 Years in 2016
Art Quill Studio 2016 Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part I
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part II
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Improvisational Screen Printing Workshop
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Art Quill Studio 2017 Workshop Program
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP)
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).


Introduction
I have written a number of articles on my MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique using polyester fabrics and mixtures of fabrics containing polyester in national and international Journals. Some of these have appeared on this blogspot - the most popular being the article that appeared in Quilting Arts (published in the August/September 2011 issue, No. 52.)

There are numerous images of my MSDS ArtCloth works listed on this blog site – for example see:
When Rainforests Ruled
Wangi's Djirang
Merge And Flow
Flames Unfurling
Selected Disperse Dye ArtCloths
Sequestration of CO2

I have also given one-day, two-day and five-day workshops on the technique spanning several continents from the USA to Asia to Australia etc. And of course, I have constructed University Courses and Master Classes on this technique.

It might be hard to believe but this was my first demonstration of the technique and it occurred at Zijdelings in Tilburg (The Netherlands). Before I began the demonstration, I asked the participants to outline their focus in fiber art and to kick off the conversation I stated my own position. From that starting point the demonstration began on the proviso that every participant could interrupt me at any point in time to ask any questions.

Some of the participants at the demonstration.


My MSDS Demonstration@Studio Zijdelings.
It is important at the outset that you have an excellent understanding of the fabric you are working with – the content and weave of polyester is critical since disperse dyes are taken up by that component in a mixed fabric. Never rely on the label. A lot of these fabrics are imported from developing or under developed countries in which labelling legislation might be imprecise or not legally monitored. It is therefore imperative to generate your own cloth palette before you begin your fabric adventure.

It is also important that if you are dealing with dye powders that you follow Occupational, Heath & Safety Procedures. If you purchase any dye you should always ask for and get a Material Safety Data Sheet - another MSDS! Wear a face mask and work in a well ventilated area when mixing dye powders. It is always advisable to wear plastic gloves and of course your most daggiest clothes. My husband, who is a Professor of Chemistry, often says to me: “No life, no art” – just to stress the importance of OH & S in the art making process.

Karina van Vught (owner of Zijdelings) made it so easy for me by providing a full color palette of disperse dyes ready for use. As I have been talking for a few minutes, your mind should now be programmed for a commercial break. Here it is. When in the Netherlands buy your pre-mixed palette of disperse dyes and of course your fabrics from Zijdelings.

I am using a delustered satin and I have cut up a small piece for all of you. What I get my students to do is to arrange their brushes so that they use one brush per dye color. It does not matter if the dye dries on the brush. Wetting it with the same colored dye will re-constitute the dye without altering its hue. However, don’t mix-up the brushes and their corresponding dye colors, otherwise you might not get the hue you desire.

Lay out your working space so that the brushes and dyes cannot get mixed up. You need one brush per dye color. Do not use the same brush for two different dye colors - otherwise you will lose control of your fabric color palette.

I then get my students to write on the delustered satin, using a black marker, the hue of each disperse dye that is labelled on the bottle. The reason for this is simple. The hue of the dye painted on the paper will not appear the same as when it infuses and adheres to the fibers of the delustered satin. Hence by creating a “fabric” palette you will always be aware of the exact hue that will transfer on the cloth. Next I paint the transfer paper with each hue in sequence and with a hot iron (it needs to be around 165oC) I iron the back of the paper above the hue description of the dye on the cloth and in doing so create my fabric palette vis-a-vie the slide below.

Before we begin with the fun bits we need to discuss how disperse dyes migrate from the paper (in vapor form) and then infuse and attach themselves to the fiber in the fabric. What is commonly termed "transfer printing" in reality should be termed sublimation printing (and ipso defacto the last term “Sublimation” in the MSDS acronym).

Sublimation describes a process that goes from a solid state to a gas state without passing though a liquid state. Dry ice has this property. That is, in the case of disperse dyes the powder (solid) is suspended in a liquid, painted onto paper, and then dried. It is now a solid dye resting on the surface of the paper. When the back of the paper is heated, it goes directly into vapor form without going through a liquid stage – just like dry ice.

In sublimation printing once the dye has been painted on a paper and is dry, the painted side of the paper is placed on top of the fabric surface that is to be dyed. Then heat is applied via an iron or a heat press (under pressure) to the back of the dry dyed paper. The dye vaporizes from the paper and infuses into the surface of the target fabric. The vapor dye reacts with the target fabric surface and adheres to it via dispersion forces (van der Waals forces) and hydrogen bonding. The heat of the iron or press serves a dual purpose: (a) it vaporizes the dye; (b) it assists the dye to infuse into the fabric surface and adhere to it.

We need to examine points (a) and (b) more closely in order to appreciate the importance of the amount of heat applied (under pressure) in the disperse dye process. With respect to (a), the more heat that is applied, the more dye is vaporized, and so the more dye is available for uptake and to adhere to the fabric. With respect to (b), the more heat that is applied (under pressure) the more vigorously the surface fiber molecules vibrate, the more passages become available for the vaporized dye to venture into the voids of the amorphous region of the fiber, the greater the promotion of dye uptake and adhesion to the fabric. That is why the amount of heat applied (under pressure) by the iron or heat press is so important since it determines the amount of dye that sublimates, the amount of dye the fabric uptakes and adheres to it. Part (a) and (b) work together hand-in-hand to achieve that end. Not enough applied heat (under pressure) results in a very pale dyed fabric. However, there is a trade-off. The more heat you apply (under pressure) the greater the possibility of damaging the fabric and the transfer paper. You need to walk this tight rope for each fabric and paper you choose. Generally, commercial dye heat presses are set to 165oC and so this temperature is appropriate for dyeing most polyester blends.

The adhesion that the dye forms with the fabric surface is why the fabric automatically becomes color fast, wash fast, light fast and moreover, why it cannot change the hand of the cloth. Furthermore, it is a surface technique and so the reverse side of the fabric is unaltered (unless you use transparent fabrics). Also, image creating objects such as stencils, resist items etc. can be inserted between the paper and fabric surface ready for transfer as well as painted images that were resident on the surface of the original paper can be transferred directly onto the fabric surface.

Now that we understand how the disperse dyes work, we can create our fabric palette.

I have now created my fabric color palette with each dye hue. I know exactly what hue I will get on the fabric with each dye that I use and so I won’t be confused by the dye color on the transfer paper or how the fabric blend or weave will affect the value of the hue since my dyed fabric palette illustrates all that information.

Armed with my color palette I can start the MSDS technique. The MSDS technique employs disperse dyes and involves hand printing multiple resists and multiple overprinted layers employing numerous color plates and plant materials. The completed works are rich in color, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth. The multiple layers also imbue a painterly aesthetic and textural, three-dimensional quality to the finished ArtCloth works.

Transfer printing is used to apply disperse dye color to polyester and synthetic fabrics. In transfer printing, disperse dyes are first painted, stamped, stencilled or drawn onto plain white paper and then dried.

Marie-Therese painting her color plates with disperse dyes. Note: The disperse dyes are suspended in liquid form which makes it easier to paint them on plain paper.

The colors used in the image below are yellow, magenta and black. Other colors can be used but one color must be light, one color mid-value and one dark color. This ensures that the works will be imbued with levels of contrast as you overprint each color plate.

Process 1: Paint the paper plates: one light, one mid-value and one dark color.

The yellow dye plate is placed face down onto the washed and ironed synthetic fabric and dry heat is applied with an iron or heat press. This is when the dye becomes a vapor and so moves from the paper into the fabric and then re-solidifies. The print is transferred on only one side of the fabric leaving the other side the original color. Transfer printing does not affect the hand of the cloth.

Process 2: Transferring the disperse dye from the paper plate to the fabric.

When the entire piece is dyed, low relief flora items are positioned on the surface of the dyed fabric. Ensure that your flora items are of a similar relief and not too thick. Prune them if necessary maintaining the integrity of the shape of the low relief item.

The magenta dye plate is placed onto the dyed fabric and flora items, color-side down. Apply dry heat using an iron or heat press.

Process 3: Using low relief flora – position and iron.

The magenta plate is removed, the flora is repositioned slightly and the black dye plate is placed over the dyed fabric and flora items, color-side down. Apply dry heat using an iron or heat press. The black dye plate is then removed.

Process 4: Final transfer over-print.

When the fabric is cool, remove the flora items to reveal the finished print. It should be noted that the colors are printed in a specific sequence working from light to dark to create the rich color, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth that is the signature hallmark of the technique.

Marie-Therese is re-positioning the flora in order to give the image a more three-dimensional look.

There are subtle differences when working with a heat press or with an iron. Remember, the heat press ensures a uniform heating pad and so the variation of color intensity across the heating pad will be minimal, giving you a more even, more uniform color transfer.

Completed artwork using the heat press. Note: The uniformity and lack of variation in the artwork.

Such uniformity obtained by a heat press can be problematical. Often our eye enjoys variation since it yields nuances and emphasis that can capture our imagination in bewilderment - changing completely our satisfaction with a piece of artwork. The iron best suits this approach since heat, pressure and length of stay (i.e. iron rooted to a particular spot) can be varied.

Completed artwork using an iron. Note: The significant variation in the intensity of color, light, shade and contrast.

I will now pass around my “Warrawee – Travellers Meeting Place”. This MSDS ArtCloth piece was exhibited in the Merge and Flow Exhibition at the Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota (USA) in 2011.

The concept behind the artwork is based on a junction. In the context of rail transport, a junction is a place at which two or more rail routes converge or diverge. In the Australian bush there are sites named - “Warrawee” - indicating a favourite resting place for aboriginals to meet when on a “walk about” since they will be re-energized and re-ignited by company and moreover, by the tranquillity of its surrounds.

Note: This artwork was selected by Mary Schoeser to be included in her tome - Textiles: The Art Of Mankind, Thames & Hudson, New York (2012) Page 147.

Warrawee – Travellers Meeting Place.

The colors and the design are aimed to give you a soothing peaceful dream state from which you wake up feeling refreshed. When I look at this piece I sometimes close my eyes, open them again and close them again more slowly - repeating this process at each cycle.

It took me years to go from the simple process that I have shown you, to this finished artwork. With commitment, time and experimentation you will also be able to achieve sophisticated results using the MSDS technique. Moreover, when you do your final artwork, I can assure you it will look nothing like mine. It will have your own artistic signature all over it.

Thanks for coming and I hope you will leave with more art to think about.

1 comment:

A.Sproule said...

Wonderful work. Thank you so much for so generously sharing your process. I have subscribed to your blofg, and I look forward to reading more about what you do.