In Mexico I buy a brightly printed, plastic material for my picnic table up north, and every few years I need a replacement piece because of fading, etc. This year I brought back an extra-long piece and used this remnant to protect a piece of plywood that I use in my studio.
Two days ago it was super rainy and this was the perfect opportunity to get out my thickened dyes and try some painting. I was in a salmon mood, so prepped my space for painting a few of these fish. I didn’t want the bright, colorful distraction of the plastic print behind my cloth, so turned it over and put the white side up. I painted two similar 14”x14” pieces and I discovered that when I picked them up to set them off to the side for drying, there was a residue left behind. I decided to set a piece of cloth on top of it and I watched a light waffle texture appear along with the paint left behind. I rubbed it a little and more appeared. That’s when I started moving my intentions towards journal quilting.
The next go round I just painted one lone salmon onto the white texture, added some bluish, watery color on the outside of it and then pressed my fabric onto it. That’s what you see above. Isn’t it perfect for the bottom side of the salmon?
I now wanted to rub the sense of a fish net onto some cloth for accent fabric. I found some old net, cut a piece the size of my large dyeing tray, and soaked it in a thickened bleach solution for a few minutes. In this case, I used Clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach because it is a thinner consistency and I thought would have better coverage on the netting. I spread it onto the tray and then set a folded piece of black on top. I wanted to rub and get the full effect of the net texture, but I knew that if my roller picked up the moisture, I would drag it across the fabric and it would smear and ruin it. I picked out a random orange piece that I didn’t like very well, folded that in half and set it on top of the black. I was now pretty well assured that the moisture wouldn’t soak through. I rubbed and rolled and then pulled the pieces off and set them to the side for 10 minutes or so before I rinsed them. I loved them, and the orange piece that I didn’t care for as a solid now had new interest for me.
I constructed my pieces with simple strips and finished it off with some abalone buttons that I’ve been saving for the perfect occasion…this was it. They are the rocks where the salmon lay their eggs which I feel are represented by the lovely thin strip of “salmon” color.
I now have a stack of so-so fabric waiting to get the “net effect”. I really do love accidental discoveries!