Category Archives: No Gutta Lines

Sodium Alginate (sea weed) Can be Used as a Resist and Dye Thickner

sodium alginate as a water-based resist
by jeanne morrison

June 13, 2009 in 1 | Tags: 

in recent posts (the prior two i think) i experimented to find a cheap water-based resist for silk painting. you can get little tubes or bottles of proprietary resist from the dye houses, but they’re way fucking expensive, and i’ll be damned if i’m going to be held hostage to somebody’s formula. grrr.

so i thought about it, and looked it up, and found recipes for rice starch paste and other things that i didn’t like the look of. and i cast my eye on my little unused bag of sodium alginate. i had it because all the books said to have it. to thicken the dye. but in silk painting you want watery dyes. thick dyes are for like painting dye directly on cotton fabrics. for silk you use a resist line.

of course, this is mere tradition. you can use what you like on what you like. that’s art. the question is rather of the integrity of your materials. how long will your work last is more important than what brand of paint you used.      read more…

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Stop Flow Method by Karen Sistek

I thought I would share this email from Karen Sistek regarding a technique she uses in silk painting. I had asked her how she uses “Magic Sizing”. This is her reply. Thank you Karen for allowing me to reprint this and share this with the other silk painters on Silk Painting Gallery Network

“I am very happy to answer any questions.
THe sizing is more of a ‘sizing’ ( I am thinking that it is similar to what the textile mfg. put into their fabrics at the mill). and works differently than the spray starch. I Originally started experimenting with spray starch and hair spray. I prefer the sizing.It leaves no film or thickness to the silk. It does work as a ‘stop flow’ as it fills the fibers of the silk….I dilute the dyes mostly with the sizing. ( rarely water) or alcohol, or VODKA. Yes, the Vodka works wonderfully and no smelly odors. With some colors, the Vodka actually is more reactive than the alcohol. I paint upright ( bad neck and back) and that was most helpful in creating this technique, as too much dye, and I have a whole new design!.. I use very little dye. I use an eye dropper ( fabulous dye bottle come with the dropper on the lid. They are from Susan Louise Moyer www.moyerdesigns.com ). and keep my dyes in water color trays, so that I can ‘sneak’ up on the dyes, with just the edges of my oval mop ( Robert Simmons oval mop. http://www.cheapjoes.com) keep the dyes on the edge of the brush…and ‘scrub’ the dyes into the silk, rather than applying more dye and letting it flow. Each stroke will leave a line, so it has to be moved and scrubbed immediately.
I have students come from literally all over to learn my technique… and have been asked many times to video the process… just have not had time to pursue.
If you go to my website and check out  ”The Allemen Project Gallery”. I think that you might be able to see some of the process. I hope to have lots of new ‘stuff’ on my website soon! Right now, my husband is super busy making my frames for me….( he does EVERYTHING, .. manages our business and takes care of the house to allow me to paint paint paint!)
I hope that you experiment soon.. and I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Happy Painting!
Karen Sistek ”
Karen’s website is :

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