Friday, January 14, 2011

Magic and Luminescence

There has been a discussion going on at the QuiltArt list about snow-dyed and low water immersion dyed fabrics.
Of course every one's tastes and opinions are different.  I like and use both methods. LWI is fine. Parfait dyeing is pretty interesting, but snow dyeing? Since I first tried it last year, it has become something purely magical for me. 
MAGICAL -- that's best word to describe the excitement I feel when doing this method of dyeing. 
At every stage it's interesting and the surprises that I find after the first rinse and again after washing are splendid. It's always a little bit of a let-down coming out of the dryer, even though I know that pressing is going to reveal what the fabric has finally come to be.
The part that is the the most beautiful part for me is when I find the light that seems to come from within the fabric itself, peeking out between layers of color making parts of the cloth absolutely glowing! It appears luminescent to me.

I found a wonderful definition of luminescence as used in reference to art last week -- about how and why certain colors appear to glow when they are next to colors that are grayed down. I can't find it now, but I kind of like the following more scientific definition too, in thinking about the way the snow dyed fabrics appear to me.

luminescence -- Process by which an excited material emits light in a process not caused solely by a rise in temperature... The colour, or wavelength, of the light emitted is determined by the material, while the intensity depends on both the material and the input energy....

Adj.1.luminescent - emitting light not caused by heat

Luminescence is caused by the movement of electrons within a substance from more energetic states to less energetic states. There are many types of luminescence, including chemiluminescence, produced by certain chemical reactions, chiefly oxidations, at low temperatures; electroluminescence, produced by electric discharges, which may appear when silk or fur is stroked or when adhesive surfaces are separated; and triboluminescence, produced by rubbing or crushing crystals..

Cool, eh? 
I always have loved the way Edward Hopper  made the light work for him to convey a mood. That's kind how I think of things when I paint on paper or canvas and that's what some of this cloth looks like to me on .
I see things in it. 
Faces, feathers, flora, fauna.
Like this:

All of these photos are from this one piece of cloth:

The whole cloth
Can you see the glow?


Cobi said...

Gisela your snow dyed cloth is stunning. I love the colors and patterning and indeed its glowing, kinda magical. I find snow dyeing big fun and on blogs all over the world you find the most terrific results. Storm and rain in my country now alas. Can't wait until the it starts snowing again.

Vicki W said...

That is a really beautiful piece of fabric!

Donna S. said...

It's true, Gisela, they're three dimensional and mesmerizing! I have several of your pieces hanging up in my studio and staring at them puts me in the zone!