Karla Kay is a Pacific Northwest native crafting hand painted silk scarves, tapestries and bandanas using textile surface design and fiber techniques. Karla received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University with an emphasis in fiber arts and surface design. Why Silk? She chooses this material to paint on due to the way the dyes shimmer and move on the slick surface of the fabric. She is inspired by animals and the outdoors.
Hand painting silk is a multi-step process that starts with the silk being cut to size, and then being washed and stretched on a frame to ensure that the paint interacts with the fabric properly. After that, a wax called “gutta” is used to outline the design. The dyes are then applied to the design, finishing with the fabric being steamed and washed to guarantee the dyes are permanent.
Her skills were first learned in junior high and perfected at WSU as well as ASU while learning Batik; an ancient fabric dying art form from Indonesian dating back to the 4th century BCE.