material frustrations and improvisations

I have so had it with sodium alginate as a thickener. I’ve tried every trick that’s been recommended to me to get this stuff to dissolve, and nothing has worked. I end up with a sticky horrible gel no matter what I do. I had to filter my dye today to get the nasty clumps out. There’s only one thing I haven’t tried, and that’s owning a separate blender to dissolve the stuff! I have to draw the line somewhere. If I had a fabulous dedicated studio, that would be one thing, but I don’t.

Unfortunately the alternative I know will work is Jacquard’s SuperClear, and nobody around here sells it. That’s means I have to mail order it, and the shipping for that heavy stuff is just ridiculous. Practically doubles the price. And I have to use so much of it, around a quarter cup of SuperClear per cup of dye to get what I want, that I can go through it really fast. (Whenever I measure it out I wonder if I could just substitute corn syrup. It looks just like it!)  I’ll just have to bite the bullet and get a gallon of it from Dharma Trading. Eek.

I was writing an inventory of my stock today and discovered I haven’t as much to do before the next show as I thought. I don’t like to do sales without at least a dozen pieces and I already have eleven! But then again, everything blue sold last time. That’s just the way it goes, sometimes all the blue sells, sometimes all the purple sells, sometimes all the fire veils sell! I’m dong a little experiment today with a slightly greened turquoise color and a dark blue, direct application with soda ash. I also took the bad-solid-color-dye-job semicircle veil (the raspberry that was all blotchy) and I put it in a low water immersion dye bath with citric acid and black Procion MX, hoping that the silk will be able to pick up some interesting randomness there.

Right, off to rinse!


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