Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Artisit Residensi day 3 - discahrge paste

The spelling part of my brain has been affected by discharge paste fumes.. This is a seriously cool process but rather smelly and it was quite windy today so with all the doors and windows open for ventilation, every piece of paper I put down flew across the room.

The discharge paste I used is available from CCG in Auckland. I haven't tried the Jacquard version but I am sure it does something similar. You have to mix the paste with a catalyst to get it started and after about 24 hours it was starting to be a bit less effective.
You can screenprint, paint, stamp the stuff onto fabric. You let it dry then steam iron it and the colour change happens while you are ironing it.
I tried it on dark coloured silk, cotton and wool with varying results.
This is my favourite, it is a black tussore silk. The violet is even more screamingly violet than the photo shows. 
 This is some old Japanese silk from the lining of a kimono.

Some fine red silk, also from a kimono.

Another piece of textured kimono silk.

Some indigo kimono cotton. It has discharged to a lovely muted violet. I printed about 160cm of this. It is only about 30cm wide.

This piece of blue wool didn't work well at all. There is a slight colour change.

The top piece of velvet is cotton and looked good when it was discharged but when I washed it, the picture became very faint. The discharge must have only happened in the very top layer which washed off. The bottom piece of velvet is some sort of stretchy synthetic velvet and it turned out very nicely and has great possiblities for use in clothing except that I haven't got very much of it and doubt I can get more :-(

I was going to try exposing a silk screen in the sun as an experiment but the sun went in around then so I used the screen to expose a piece of a blueprint for a train. My father used to make models of East African railway train and this is a fraction of a Garrett. I have used the discharge paste through the silk screen, onto the indigo cotton. I wanted it to look like a blueprint. This is more of a 'purple print'.

I also tried mixing pigments into the discharge paste with the idea that when the underneath colour bleaches away the pigment colour will take it's place. Those pieces are still wet so will have to wait till tomorrow to make it onto the blog.

NB Special thanks to Lee-anne  who told me how to upgrade this blog so that the photos come where I want them!


  1. Hi Clare. I am also from Wellington, and have been enjoying your blog, especially interested in your latest experiments. I have been experimenting with the Jacquard Discharge Paste which is great fun and very controllable. No mixing with other stuff first. Also have had a go with discharging using Thiox. Diana Parkes uses it in her work, and I must say I found it to be very very good. Much more flexible as it can be used in thickened print paste or as a bath. I used it for a discharged Shibori piece with great success. It is a Pro Chem product and does no damage to the fabrics. Have you tried it? Would love to know what you think about it. Also looking forward to any further experimenting........

  2. Hi ElizH, nice to meet you! I haven't tried the Jacquard paste but I might order some as it comes in more manageable quantities than the CCG stuff ($88 per 4 litres of something). I have some Thiox in my store cupboard but have never been game to try it - it sounds toxic. Maybe now is the time to haul it out, sometime in the next 4 weeks :-)