Category Archives: discharge dyeing




Because of rising temperatures, our beautiful seas are in danger.  Magnificent coral reefs are getting bleached out; totally saturated colors are turning white!  The habitat of the sea turtle is being destroyed, and these elegant creatures are endangered.  I have not, in the past, used my art work to make a political statement. However I felt compelled to represent the endangered reefs and turtles in fiber, and the 2nd piece of this series was finished this morning.

Interestingly, the theme for Art Quilts Lowell this year is “The Sea” – When I saw this call for entry, my 1st piece was completed and the 2nd piece was underway.  So I stepped up my pace a bit, planning to submit both pieces to this show.  Filling out the entry form today, I saw that maximum width is 48″.  The Endangered Sea Turtle piece is 54″, so alas, they will be submitted to a different show with no size restrictions.  So much for looking at directions…

The good news is that both pieces are finished and photographed!


Endangered Sea Turtle  (c)2011 Shelley Brucar

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Filed under Art Stuff, discharge dyeing, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing



Working on the piece from my last post, two more layers have been added.  While the first layer was dye-painted onto damp fabric to allow colors to run and blend, the next two layers have been screened onto dry fabric for crisper lines.  It has been screened with a second layer of procion dyes, and then a layer of vat dyes.  Vat dyes put color in and discharge color simultaneously, giving a halo effect.  Most of the change so far is subtle.  Can you figure out what are the differences between the image in my March 10 post and the image below – before you scroll past the image for the answers? 

1. I have put in some darker waves to give the water depth.   2. I have vat-dyed the two mountains in the foreground to add texture and to make them darker, thereby bringing them forward.   3. The mid-range and left, background mountains have been given some texture as well; this may be difficult to see in the background mountain.  Again, it’s all very subtle so far.  4. There are some changes, added lines in the sky.

Next, I will get out my Shiva Paintstiks and start adding layers of paint.  I want more texture, more depth, more shadows and highlights for contrast. 

Since I have made this a “shared” project, any comments are welcome.  What do you see?  What do you like or dislike so far?  What do you think the piece needs?


Filed under Art Stuff, discharge dyeing, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing, thermofax screens



I believe so strongly that we get more out of every experience if we truly focus on the NOW, putting aside all distractions, that I chose “present” as my word for 2010.  Present as in “being present” not as in “gift” although practicing being present is really a gift to myself.

Recently, the Zen Habits blog had a post about Being Present – 4 simple ideas to help you focus on what is happening in your life right now.  Here’s the link; hope you enjoy it.

Of course, sometimes we need a diversion which takes us “out of the moment”.   Here is a piece on my design wall that is NOT part of the 2 series I’m working on for 2010:

“Whispering Branches” (c)2010 Shelley Brucar

This design came out of reminiscing w/childhood friends about laying on the ground at dusk, looking up at the emerging stars.  That was definitely an “in the moment” experience.  Techniques used: hand-dyeing, discharge dyeing, screening.


Filed under Art Stuff, Coping, discharge dyeing, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing, Relax, thermofax screens


Yesterday I saw a prevew of Barbara Schneider’s solo show which runs September 1 through September 29 at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.  Of course I did not have a camera with me, but I was with mixed media/fiber artist, Jeanne Raffer Beck who is prepared and did have her camera.  Click on Jeanne’s name and you will be able to see a preview of Barbara’s extraordinary show, read Jeanne’s wonderful blog and see her website.  If you can get to Crystal Lake this month, see the exhibit it in person.  Artist reception is Sept 20, 3:00-5.

These foresty-looking screened/discharged pieces are currently up on my design wall, waiting for something to happen:

Screened forest1

Screened forest2


Filed under Art Stuff, digital photo printing on fabric, discharge dyeing, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing, thermofax screens



The most often-visited posts on my blog so far are the three on Reframing for Negative Thinking (May 15, May 27 and June 19, 2009).  I have always believed that these tools really work, and I hope they are working for you!  Just wanted to share that the first article in today’s NY Times Latest News was about a new program for the military to teach troops REFRAMING in order to help prevent/cope with Post Traumatic Stress, Depression and Anxiety.

And here are 2 new pieces just finished for “Midwest Meditations”, a Fiber Artists Coalition exhibit which will start at the Bloomingdale Park District Museum, July – August, 2010.  Fabric for both pieces is dyed, over-dyed, screened and discharged.

Turtle Crossing ITurtle Crossing I.  Fiber Art by Shelley Brucar

Turtle Crossing IITurtle Crossing II.  Fiber Art by Shelley Brucar

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Filed under Art Stuff, Coping, discharge dyeing, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing, Reframe, thermofax screens



All winter I’m stuck inside for dyeing fabric.  As soon as summer comes, I move the dyeing studio outside where I’m so much happier.  So now that it’s finally warm and has stopped raining, I’m up to my elbows in fabric dye and various discharge solutions – all outside.  I start with white fabric, dye it, overdye it, and screen it many times with different screens made from my own or my husband’s photos.  When the fabric is totally saturated and won’t take any more dye, I discharge some of the color, then dye or screen more, and then sometimes paint it.  Here are a few of the pieces that have been created recently in my back yard:





And here’s one new piece that has come from this process:

Weathered Text“Weathered Text” by Shelley Brucar.  Hand-dyed, screened and discharged velvet; machine stitching.

What, you may be thinking, does all this have to do with stress management and serenity?  Did I mention that fiber art is what brings me serenity?  If you don’t already have something you’re passionate about – something that makes the rest of the world disappear when you’re involved with it – find that passion now.  Then make time to pursue your passion.

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Filed under Art Stuff, discharge dyeing, hand-dyeing, Stress, thermofax screens