There once was an ugly duckling (or two!)

As well as stitching lots and lots of lines over the last couple of weeks I have also spent a few hours doing 'wet work' inspired by calm and tranquility. I was fairly pleased with the pieces I had printed over the August bank holiday but this time around all I seem to have made is a bunch of ugly ducklings! Using the Dunure colour family I made some more pieces by monoprinting off glassine and by using breakdown printing. I also did some scraping with thickened dye and some dry brushing. Usually I can predicate, and somewhat control, the outcome when I layer up colours from within a colour family. This time most of the pieces came out rather dirty brown or dull looking. I think I have lost my mojo!

Cotton scrapped through (left) and dry brushed (right) with thickened dyes

Using glassine and thickened dyes to monoprint bands of colour. Tried using a brush and a roller (centre piece) to get different effects

But I like a challenge so I sat and studied the pieces. I used paper 'L' frames to isolate sections of each cloth. This helped me decide which pieces needed more of the same - for example adding more bands of colour by monoprinting off glassine. And which pieces needed the addition of a layer of something different - for example adding fine lines using a soya wax screen on top of scrapped fabric. I also hung some of the really ugly pieces side by side to see if there were any 'sparks' between them. I now have separate piles to work through over the coming days and weeks. Let's hope I can find my mojo again!

Paper 'L' frames used on a piece of breakdown printing

Paper 'L' frames used on a piece printed using a soya wax screen

Ugly ducklings - can I turn them into a beautiful swan?