Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Silk Fiber Fusion

When I read this blog the other day, I remembered my silk goody pack. I was inspired to go get it out and look through it once more. I also pulled out some dyed silk noils sent to me by my friend Heather, who lives in Manitoba.

Heather does quite a bit of felting and fusion. A while ago she had shared some information with the Online Guild about silk fusion. I had saved a copy of her instructions on my hard drive, so I printed them out and gathered up my supplies:

The supplies needed to fuse silk fibers.

A - netting, B - plastic to cover my work surface, C - sponge for soaking up excess water, D - acrylic gloss medium, E - dishwashing liquid, F - cup of warm water, G - various silk tops, H - small, soft artist's brush, I - variety of hand dyed silk noils, J - towel for hands, drips, whatever.

The first step was to cut a piece of netting twice as large as the piece I was going to make. The silk tops were drawn out to create two thin layers, the 2nd perpendicular to the first:

To start, the silk tops are laid out in layers.

The netting was folded over and the entire thing wetted thoroughly with a dilution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid in 1 cup of warm water.

Wetting the silk layers.

When thoroughly wet, the netting was lifted so that embellishments could be added. Here I added some of the pastel silk noils:

Adding silk noil embellishments.

After embellishing, the netting is folded over once again and the entire thing rewetted. The sponge was used to mop up if I used too much water.

Next, a 50/50 mixture of acrylic gloss with water was brushed over the entire thing.

Applying the acrylic gloss medium.

Ideally, I should have had a drying rack or screen to place this on but I didn't. I set it aside on a clean, dry towel and turned it occasionally.

I had more of my acrylic mixture left, so I experimented:

Three of my silk fusion experiments.

Left: I used my blue silk tops and embellished with some leftover throwsters waste which I had dyed.
Middle: Blue silk tops as a base embellished with silk noils.
Right: This one is of silk noils entirely. I teased them out to make several layers.

I allowed them all to dry overnight.

The next morning I carefully peeled the netting off:

Peeling the netting from the dried silk fusion.

Here are my finished results:

My completed silk fusion pieces.

I put the complete set of my silk fusion project photos on my Flickr Photos.

At this point I have no plans for my masterpieces, except to keep as samples or perhaps use as insets in greeting cards. I can see where I made some places too thin and some too thick. There are some areas which could have used more the the acrylic mixture, but even so I am happy with them.

These were all quite spontaneous but I can see the potential for more thoughtful designing. If you want to see some beautiful silk fusion and projects made with it, spend some time exploring Sue B's blog. Her's are inspirational!


Anonymous said...

Wow, those are beautiful...I'm sure anyone who got a greeting card inset like that would love it!!!

Peg said...

I'm on DH's computer while mine is being worked on. No favorites, no email addies..... Putyour blog name into Google and up it came! I think about trying silk fusion from time to time, but am not sure what I would do with it. Yours' looks nice. Are you going to try more? Here's hoping my password, etc. works!

Leslie Shelor said...

What a beautiful use for silk, one of my favorite fibers! Thanks for visiting!

Charleen said...

Very pretty, Leigh? Would you be able to use it for clothing embellishment, or does the acrylic make it too rigid?

Leigh said...

Good question, Charleen. One of my samples is fairly stiff, but the others aren't. I guess it would depend on what type embellishment. Actually, I like your idea quite a bit. Crazy quilt type squares maybe? I'll have to add it to my ideas to consider.

Anonymous said...

OHHHHHH silk my weakness I have always wanted to try this... looks like paper. Just beautiful.

woof nanny said...

Nice tutorial! I need to try this. Thank you for commenting on my blog, and for telling me who brought you there--I really appreciate that.