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January 1, 2006

Old Dye Doesn't die, it just congeals

Tonight I started working on Ukrainian Easter Eggs again and used some colors that I haven't touched in a while. They are in Jars and sealed up. They last for a long time in the Jars but there are two things that happens to the dyes when they get more than a couple years old. First they congeal on the bottom. It's like a thick, syrupy, rubbery blob that won't remix in with the water. Secondly, the dyes no longer work as well. I have to leave the eggs in the dye much longer to get bright enough colors. So, I may just pick up some new dye packets soon and start all over with a fresh batch of dyes.
On a positive note, I just used my new electric kistka for the first time and I loved it. It's a little akward to hold with the cord attached, but the wax goes on smooth and it's much faster work then trying to keep the tip heated by candle as I have been doing for years. So I'm hooked after one use. I did two eggs tonight. I still have to remove the wax and blow out the eggs tomorrow, so it will be an exiting day for me. As I've said before, removing the wax at the end of the process is the best part of the process! It reveals the image underneath all of that wax and it's beautiful. It's like opening up a really good present.
I know this is kind of a transition, having an art studio of my own, seperate from my home. There are many reasons why I chose to do this, which I won't go into now, but I did discover that there is a logistics problem. It'll take some getting used to. For instance, I brought all this stuff in there thinking I had everything, but I needed some paper towels or napkins for removing the eggs from the dye. I didn't have any. I did have a rag though, so I used that. But I was getting different colors of dye transferring from the rag back onto the egg. That's not good. Anyway, tomorrow will present another issue. Blowing the egg out requires a sink. I'll have to leave my studio and go to the bathroom and blow out the eggs, then go back. In my own home there is a lot of infrastructure I took for granted. It is interesting though and there are no challenges that can't be resolved with creativity. One major advantage that outweighs the disadvantages is that it's a great isolation cell with no distractions. Once I'm in there working, I'm working. So, I got two eggs nearly done tonight. After I finish with these I'll start posting some pictures online of my artwork. Next weekend I'll have to go get some new dye packets. For now, I'll use colors that are still good.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, I just finished reading "The Horse and his boy." I'm really enjoying reading this series of Children's books by C.S. Lewis. It is very artfully written. Now it's bedtime. Tomorrow is another day of revelations, in the book I'm reading and the eggs I'll be removing wax from.

Posted by carl1236 at January 1, 2006 11:31 PM | Art