Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good, Better, Best

When my children were teenagers they would often play a game at youth group called "Good, Better, Best". The idea was to start out with an inexpensive item,  and by visiting neighbours, try to trade up for a better item. By the time they had finished the game they had acquired intriguing and often fun items to show at the group. The winner was chosen by which team had traded up to the "best" item. A well known variation of this game can be found here: http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.ca/
What does this have to do with my work? Well, I had made a piece of fabric with soy wax resist, dye and textile paint. I had envisioned a vibrant and exciting result. What I got was this:

Not too impressive! My vision was very different from my outcome. But I always remember my textile design tutor telling me "when in doubt, do MORE" and I carry that thought often into my work. If a piece of cloth or quilt just doesn't excite me, very often it just needs MORE.
So back to the wax pot and a more intense layer of colour.

Once I washed the wax (remember, its soy wax, so cleaning is easy) and dye out, it was much better. But not quite good enough, it needed MORE!

This time I went back into the fabric with textile paints and a thermofax screen. I printed in bright magenta and then rotated the screen and printed again with vivid pink. This is the screen design I used:
Now I'm happy, I think the fabric is the best it can be. I think you'll agree that doing MORE is worthwhile. When have you found that doing MORE gives you MORE than you expected?


tiedyejudy said...

Nice work, Susan! I participated in a couple of "Round Robin" fabric circles several years ago, and while I wasn't thrilled with one of the fabrics, the other came out great! There were 6 or 7 fiber artists participating, and we were using various surface design techniques. The resulting fabric had been dyed, discharged, stamped... you name it! I really grew during these exercises because it made me think hard about what had been done and what I could add to the mix. I think the same can be achieved by giving ourselves permission to play "what if?" and just experiment if we're not satisfied with our original results...

Lisa said...

I love the resulting fabric! The thermofax screen really added to the design, and the added color is fabulous. Good job!

amie said...

Wow Susan, this is beautiful!!

Jeannie said...

The transformation is amazing! The layers really add so much interest and texture you can almost feel. Gorgeous!

Shelly Stokes said...

Love it! That's so much more inspiring than where you started. I did a couple of snow dye pieces that need some help. Thanks for the nudge.

Sarah McLaren said...

The end result in the fabric looks great and who said more was less! More is more in this case.
Have never done soy wax or used a thermofax screen. When time permits would like to take your courses to learn how to get these effects on fabric.
What are you going to do with this piece of fabric now?
Sarah McLaren

Lisa said...

That's a great lesson to remember and I love the resulting fabric. I often fall in love with the fabric part way along the process and have to make myself keep going. I'll remember Good, Better, Best.