Monday, April 16, 2012

DSP fabrics

DSP, or Deconstructed Screen Printing, is something I had played with a bit before, and a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days on retreat, doing nothing but DSP.  (Well, we won't mention the food and wine!)

This is a method of using fiber-reactive dyes mixed with a thickening paste to create a resist that gradually deconstructs, giving a series of similar-but-different prints.  Although other artists have taught this technique, I love my "Deconstructed Screen Printing" DVD by Kerr Grabowski.  I had taken a mark-making workshop with her a few years ago, at QSDS (Quilt Surface Design Symposium).  She's an adorable gal with a fun personality and a very laid-back teaching style that nevertheless gives you ALL the information you need.  I highly recommend her DVD, as it is two disks chock full of instructions, demonstrations, recipes for the techniques, and humor.

To get back to my DSP'd fabrics, after batching them I was pleased to see how well the colors held up, and thought I'd post a few of them here.  These happen to be all cottons, but it works very well with rayons and silks, too.

The stereotypical rubber gloves used as resist.  I just had to try it.
(The dark blue line through the top is probably from having
wrapped the fabric for batching while it was still too wet.)
This image shows the further deterioration (or deconstruction)
of the glove-printed resist.  I love this color contrast.
Grasses ... I believe some of the grasses were still
stuck on the screen during this first printing.
Here, the grasses have mostly been removed from the screen,
and the printed dyes are darker where they had adhered.
This is one of the final prints from the grasses.
I'm calling these mono-screen-prints, because the dyes were
simply screened through a blank screen.  This actually shows 4
separate passes over the screen.  Love the streakiness.
As I was packing up to leave, I just had to try another
mono-screen-print over a commercial fabric.
I'm so glad I used prepared fabrics (pre-soaked in soda-ash
solution) as my mop-cloths.  These are kind of funky, but I might
be able to figure out something to do with them.
And last but not least ... my friend Liz Broussard gave me some of her
dye powders to test out the ice-dyeing method (similar to snow-dyeing).
I really loved the outcome on this piece, and can't wait to do more.


  1. Love what you did with grass! Very creative. I agree with you about Kerr's DVD's. The ABCs of DSP.

    1. Thanks, Diane. I happen to also love Kerr's personality and sense of humor. Makes learning so much more fun!

  2. looks like fun- a color Fest!

    1. I didn't even post pictures of most of the fabrics, but every time I opened up one of them to iron and fold away, I would gasp in excitement over all the gorgeous colors.

  3. I think I'll get the DVD. I have a workshop with Lisa at the end of the month to learn the layering she does and that I love. I'm looking forward to that. Then I'll really be ready for our dye days!

    1. The DVD is well worth it, Sandra. I'm looking forward to more dyeing with you too!

  4. I found your blog after reading your dinner at 8 interview with you. Wonderful blog! I have Kerr's dvd, too. I bought it after I tried dsp on my own first without much success. Now I just need to find time to try it again. I love your dsp fabric. Very inspiring!

    1. Thanks so much, Mia. To me, the worst part is the washing-out of the fabrics, but the rest is sheer FUN!

    2. I love deconstructed printing -- and you got great results. Part of the fun is the not knowing how it will turn out. Good job!

  5. Well, I can attest to how gorgeous Linda's DSP's are because I got to see them in person and they are saturated with color - beautiful results!

    1. Susan, yours turned out beautifully too ... some would make gorgeous whole-cloth quilts!


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