My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

Bleaching animal marks on black tissue paper.

Before starting this chapter I gathered all the materials I needed.

Black tissue paper




Metal container

Variety of applicators.

Cardboard and Plastic sheets to protect work surfaces.

I was working in a well ventilated area and used gloves and an apron to protect my hands and clothes.The cats were not allowed in the area I was working in despite Jasper’s objections!

I feel like an explorer ! I have never used bleach on black tissue paper before so this was a new venture for me. Like all things new I was not sure how well I would do here. The samples in the unit looked great, I felt a bit daunted which is silly, it’s only bleach and paper! Like all these things getting started is the big hurdle! I allowed myself a test piece which I thought had not worked until the bleach began to take effect and magic marks began to appear. I was hooked, it was like making your own magic painting book! ( I loved magic painting books! Do you still get them? I wish I had wee ones again!)

Gecko marks.

1.                            2.                             3.                            4.

Turtle 1 Turtle 2 Turtle 3 Gecko 3

1. I used a piece of card and pressed the bleach into the paper making short lines and at intervals used the end of a cotton reel to imprint circles. For this one I was still finding and experimenting with materials and objects. As you can see the spots at the top are different this is because I tried the end of a shaped rubber.

2. I continued using the edge of the card to imprint lines, I was trying to keep the lines as thin as I could but with enough bleach to make a positive mark. It needed a lighter touch.

3. This one was made with a narrow piece of card, dragged over the paper followed by making horizontal lines over the 1st marks. I did this until the bleach was all used up so the lines are fairly thin and faint. I then took the end of a stick with more bleach and made spots here and there. The incidental lines caused by the bleach trailing from the stick, add to the overall effect. I love unplanned marks!

4. This time I was trying to create a variation in the thickness and tone of the marks which is also reflected in the patterns on the gecko’s skin.

I was really getting into the swing of things now!

Giraffe Marks

5.                             6.                              7.

giraffe 1 Giraffe 2 giraffe 2

I was trying to use the bleach to create negative space, leaving the black as the positive spaces.

5. Not very successful use of a store card which had grooves in the edge. There was not enough spaces between the shapes, still a good starting point as it showed me I needed to have a clearer plan for what I was trying to achieve.

6. Clearer marks this time but still not the desired effect, I got a bit carried away with the uniformity instead of doing just the opposite!

7. Improving on the shaping but still not enough bleaching on this one.

Turtle marks.

8.                             9.                              10.                          11.

IMG_5420 IMG_5417 Turtle 4 IMG_5418

8. This was created using the edge of a card, very similar to 1. but with more concentric marks. I had to work quickly here as the card was absorbing a lot of bleach so there are lines and tiny splashes in a few places but again not a bad thing!

9. This one was made using a plastic fork, dragging the bleach in a circular motion. I used the end of a stick to fill in the centre swirls.

10. This was made much the same way as 9, but with a bit more controlled use of the bleach to create the shapes and quality of line.

11. I used the edge of a card to drag the bleach over the paper in wavy lines then added the circles using the cotton reel end. I wanted to see how far I could go without adding more bleach to the lines. I was hoping to achieve a fading out effect here. Parts have worked quite well but I could do better!

Zebra marks.

12.                          13.

IMG_5400 IMG_5402

12. This was created using card to make lines of varying width and length. I wanted to make the lines in ‘V’ shapes but with parts of the lines connected to each other or by other lines. I find that looking at zebra patterns, initially they look symmetrical and clearly defined but looking closer you can see that the patterns are not like this at all!

13. I used folded card from a tube  to create these shapes which represent the lines on the nose of the zebra image I used in earlier chapters.

Elephant marks.

14.                          15.

IMG_5419 IMG_5403

14. I returned to the plastic fork used in 9 and 10 for this pattern. The lines are quite uniform with some scoring over them.  Some areas are more bleached than others as I was trying to create the light and shade of the skin.

15. I used the curved card from 13. this time. I made larger, more random lines which overlap. Looking at it now I think I could have added more lines.

Bird marks.

16.                         17.                           18.

IMG_5404 IMG_5407 IMG_5406

16. I used a small piece of balsa wood and dragged it down the paper. On the r.h.s you can see where I started to overlap the marks.

17. I used folded card here and have continued with the idea of overlapping the marks. The image has been turned upside down to reflect the lay of feathers. This has worked quite well.

18. and 19 were made again with the wood. I enlarged the marks in 19 and added lines running vertically through the ‘v’ marks.

19.                          20.

IMG_5405 IMG_5401

20. Using card this time I made thicker horizontal lines and added vertical lines through the centres.

Using the bleach was fun and created interesting effects with the variety of tools I used.

*Apologies for the numbers being out of place, it doesn’t look like this in the draft and I can’t find a way to change it.*


Comments on: "Mod.2. Chapter 5, bleaching black paper." (2)

  1. These look fabulous, Elaine – far better than mine. I especially like the tortoisey ones. I ended up concluding when I made mine that imperfect control over the results is one of the beauties of this technique – there’s always a bit of room for serendipity.

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