Once upon a time, there was a one meter piece of white silk which wanted to be something more than an ordinary piece of silk. Perhaps it was the restless souls of the of silkworms that created it; they had feasted on mulberry leaves and spun cocoons for their pupa stage, expecting to emerge as moths and fly on to greater, more exciting things. Instead, they never awoke from their dreams... they left them all in the silk.
Graciously, the silk decided to lend itself to this new venture of mine.
First, the silk was dyed in a nearly exhausted pot of kammala (a natural dye) for one hour, and then left overnight in the pot so that resist lines developed. After it was washed and ironed, it was taped down to a screeprinting table.
I screenprinted on it with a design based on microscopic images of sea algae.
After a few hours later, I'd covered every centimetre.
The next day, after making sure the pigment was dry, I carefully heatpressed the silk so that the pigment would be set, and then stretched it out on an old frame so that I could paint it with thickened remazol dyes.
I painted until my back ached and my hands were tingling, and when I couldn't stand it another second, My friend Melissa showed up to lend a hand (and a paintbrush!) and save me.
Finally, shortly before midnight, the painting was completed.
It took another hour to dry enough that it could be moved safely from the printing table.
Tomorrow, it will be steamed and washed again. Many more adventures await this once ordinary piece of silk before it completes it's journey.
Here's a hint...