Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blocks and stencils and stamps....Oh my!

Last Sunday's workshop was a real treat.  Beautiful temperatures, bright sunny skies, hard-working students letting go with their creativity made for a very special day.  It was an indigo only workshop, but we worked with two resist paste techniques. Most of these examples will show how different each resist technique differs, but more importantly, they will show that even from the not so great prints, there is plenty to salvage.  There will be no waste.  We used things like doilies (plastic and cotton) stamps, ( I was fortunate enough to find some beautiful recycled hand-carved teak stamps from India) quilt stencils to use with either Cassava paste resist or with clay resist paste.  This is our second class on resist pastes, and the students were well over their fears, and no longer seeking perfection in each piece.  I hope you enjoy their work.
Maggie Clark used Cassava Paste Resist pounced through a plastic doily to create this lovely design.

A collection of recycled wooden carved teak stamps from India with cassava paste resist created the diapered pattern.

A plastic quilt stencil of birds and cherry blossoms used with Cassava Paste resit tamped on cotton.  Clarity will become better with more experience in how to fill large areas with resist.

This cotton fabric has not yet completely dried after stamping with cassava paste resist using large teak stamps form India.  The outer border was free hand stamped with foam paddle to create a lovely textured border.

Another plastic quilt stencil, but this time used with clay paste resist.  The fabric is still slightly damp after rinsing, but fine detail was easy with this type of resist.

This pineapple design was from a plastic quilt stencil used with  clay paste resist

Kay Stanno used cassava paste resist with a Sun flower-carved teak stamp block form India. The paste had started separating, but served to highlight the actual design of the stamp.

All over use of 3" teak stamps with cassava paste resist with a foam roller created a nice pattern on cotton muslin.


  1. Hi-
    I've been enjoying your blog for awhile. Are these fabrics dyed with indigo? What type of vat do you use? Does the cassava paste not disolve in the dye bath? I'm interested in doing some vat dyeing but don't want to use gutta for the resist.

    1. Yes, these are all indigo. Some of them are dyed with a Sugar & Fructose 1-2-3 vat (a la Michel Garcia), some with a Iron and lime 1-2-3 vat (also a la Michel Garcia, and some with a Thiox vat from Dharma Trading Company kit. All of these are cold vats, even though you may use 1 gallon of hot water to start them off. The cassava paste resist and the clay paste resist would wash off in the vat if you left the fabric in it for more than one minute or if you crumpled the fabric in the vat. We dip the fabric straight in and move it as little as possible for 1 full minute, take it out and let it oxidize briefly and go right to the rinse water. I use three bowls to rinse in, and do not crumple the fabric until the 3rd rinse bowl.I then use a spatula to finish removing any resist remaining on the fabric, then rinse in the sink and let the fabric dry. I never use gutta for a resist, but it is a necessity for acid dyes. I am not sure which resist is best for a hot immersion dye.