Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers
My class Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers begins on Friday, January 8th.
This class is with The Academy of Quilting, an excellent source for all sorts of different quilting classes: art, modern and traditional. The courses are short: 3-7 weeks and are very reasonably priced. I've found it an easy website to negotiate and the Dean is Always on hand to help - I think she never sleeps!
I've written several classes for the Academy, and one starts on the first Friday of nearly every month, I just sent a brand new one to her! It will have to be checked and edited so may be a while before it's available...and I'll post more details then. It's another design class, but with a lot of information!
However, the first class up this year is the Basic Dyeing class.
I wanted to approach dyeing a different way from the make 4000 little samples and glue them neatly into a note book school of learning to dye. I find I'm really too impatient to be glueing all those bits, and the only time I took a class like that I was assigned about 10 yards of various muddy greens!!
It seemed to me that a more straight forward approach would be to address the properties of color and explain how to achieve each of them.
As we know color varies by hue (red, blue, green etc...), by value (light, medium, dark) and by saturation (rich intense color grading to very greyed out color).
So I thought, let's show people how to get - say - 12 different colors (12 steps round the color wheel), and how to dye a gradation of 8 or steps steps from light to dark, and how to dye 5 or 6 saturated vs greyed colors. In that way, with just 25 (or so) samples you'd have an outline of how to achieve pretty much any color. I'm a minimalist at heart - despite the clutter around me as I type!!!
I find that people can nearly always decide where a color would fall on the color wheel...you can see if the green you want is nearer to turquoise than emerald, or nearer to emerald than chartreuse. We've been looking at colors like this for a long time! You don't need to dye 400 steps around the wheel to be able to do that.
You can also decide: is this dye color darker than that? or lighter?
And there are basically only two ways to make a color less intense, less saturated.
Also I wanted to minimize the number of different dyes you need to buy (6 in all) - very many dyes are simply mixes of other dyes...and you can certainly learn to mix them yourselves.
And I wanted make the whole process as painless and straightforward as possible, with the least exposure to dye dust (as an asthmatic myself, I'm Very Aware of that).
So I think I achieved all of that with this class! There are five lessons: Mixing Dye solutions and dyeing gradations in black, Dyeing the three primary colors in gradations, Dyeing around the color wheel, Dyeing neutrals and tertiary colors and why you need them, working from a painting to figure out all the colors and then dyeing them!
Do give it a try! I'm happy to answer any questions.....and Happy New Year to everyone!
Above all, good health! Remember a nice cup of tea will solve a lot of problems....
And, if you have been, thanks for reading. Elizabeth