Colorful Things I Wish I had Learned in Chemistry Class

wordcanoe

Kinship of Rivers at the Red Wing Arts Association/ Depot Gallery, 2012. Kinship of Rivers at the Red Wing Arts Association/ Depot Gallery, 2012.

When my artistic partner Wang Ping and I launched the Kinship of Rivers art project we devised a routine for dying cloth so that we could create banner upon banner made up of flags participants decorated (thousands have been made to date).

Originally I went to the local art store and bought iDye, an easy to use product which was not too expensive and offered a great palette of colors. What I liked was that I could dye yards of cotton fabric in the washing machine by tossing a dissolvable plastic packet into a hot water cycle. It did take a bit of finessing. Pickling salt had to be added by the cupful to help the dye bond to the cloth and the cycle had to be timed just right to get the desired depth of color.

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