Assignment 2 – Printing with discharge paste: Part 1

An angst ridden day.

I started the day confidently, ready to mix up my discharge paste for use this afternoon.

The product available to me is called TUD, which is short for Thiourea Dioxide, and comes in powder form.  The instructions say:

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of TUD in 200nl of boiling water.  Stir well and add cold water to make a total of 500ml.  Allow to cool.  In a separate container, dissolve 2 teaspoons DR33 (thickening paste powder)with a little methylated spirits.  Add the first solution to this, stirring well, and leave to thicken for around an hour.

I stumbled at the very first part.  The TUD simply wouldn’t dissolve.  I stirred it for 20 minutes with zero effect so I shot off an email to the supplier asking for advice.  She came back with TUD isn’t the most co-operative powder when dissolving, but it does dissolve, just add more hot water.  Hmm….. If it dissolves in boiling water and I’ve been stirring for 20 minutes so it is now stone cold what is the point of adding more hot water to the mix as I can’t get it to boiling point again?   I decided to stick it in the microwave and heat up the original solution and see what happened.  Well it got very hot and still wouldn’t dissolve.

What next?  Rather than waste it (as I get it mail order and don’t have very much to play with) I decided to stir it into some of my ready prepared thickened paste and see what happened.  It only occurred to me afterwards that the thickened paste is made up with chemical water containing Urea whereas the instructions for the TUD say to use it as the wetting agent for the DR33 to make up the paste – but I didn’t want to waste the ready mixed paste.  Anyway, what harm can extra Urea make?  Frankly, I’ve got no idea.  It’s a wetting agent, isn’t it?

What on earth am I doing?  Eventually I ended up with thickened paste containing gazillions of minute specks of TUD suspended in it.  Is that OK?  Can I use it?  Don’t know, so let’s try it anyway.DP 1

The piece of fabric to the right was dyed by a friend of mine and is a medium weight cotton with this lovely variegated green.  I am trying to work on the more coloured area.DP 2  The grey is a commercial patchwork fabric that has been washed to remove size.

I prepared my screen, going back to my plastic-paper feet from previous work and some powder resist so I don’t get a fully solid discharge.

DP 3Here they are straight after the paste has been applied through the screen.DP 4

Quite a lot of the powder has remained on the fabric but I’m sure that will either wash or wipe off after the process is complete.  I’m doing no more until they are dry and I can try the steaming to activate the discharge because if it doesn’t work, due to the undissolved TUD, I’ll have to start again from scratch.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
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