Enjoying the Creative Journey

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in Inspirations and Designing | 4 Comments

I probably enjoy painting and printing my fabrics as much as I enjoy developing them into finished artworks. After visiting Yellowstone with my husband this past September, I was inspired by the colors and textures there to create some new fabrics.

First I began with some break-down silkscreens. This is a process where your image releases gradually from the silkscreen. No two prints are alike!

What you see below is thickened dye paste painted onto a silkscreen frame.

This is allowed to dry overnight, before it is ready to print.

Next, I scrape clear thickened ‘seaweed’ paste over the silkscreen to randomly dissolve the image. The dyes transfer through the silkscreen onto the fabric I’ve placed below. (If you look closely, you may be able to see the shiny clear paste.)

Above is a fabric that was just printed. I keep printing the image on more fabrics until the image is spent.

Below are closeups of three different finished fabrics printed with a variety of break-down silkscreens. You can never plan these effects… which is what I enjoy about this process.

Next I decided to use up some potato dextrin (potato starch) that I found in my supply cupboard. Inspired by the roiling geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone, I dripped, spattered and brushed the liquid (potato starch) resist over my fabric and allowed it to dry over night. Then I painted various colors of dye paste over the surface. Below are some closeups of how this coating of dyes over dried potato starch appeared. I took these photos because it will all be washed out after the dyes set. These closeups reminded me of a stormy sea. It is so enjoyable to watch this whole process unfold!

Below are some closeups of what the fabric looks like after it is set and washed out.

Finally, I decided to do some mono-printing with black dye paste on fabric. I wanted to create some textures reminiscent of the dried sage I saw along the roads in Yellowstone.

I spread out a thin layer of black dye paste onto a 4′ x 8′ board covered tightly with plastic. Then I took my gloved hands and some combing tools and created some textures in the dye paste.  Next I laid a large piece of cotton fabric on top of my design and lightly pressed it into the dye paste. This sat in place for 24 hours before I hung it up to completely dry. Below are a couple closeups.

So now the fabrics are ready. Will keep you posted on where my creative journey goes next!



  1. Ceci Rusnak
    November 21, 2019

    Beautiful, Sharon! Will you do a workshop on this sometime?

    • Sharon Wall
      December 3, 2019

      Hi, Ceci! Sure. All the techniques in the blog need to dry overnight. It would have to be a 2 day thing. Please let me know what you have in mind.

  2. Jean Downing
    November 27, 2019

    Great idea Ceci, Workshop Please Sharon! Stunning results

  3. Meredith
    December 6, 2019

    Wow. I’m up for a workshop. Will check with The Gallery at Penn College and see if we could do a two day bit with the workshop call in conjunction with Textiles in Translation show.


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