Stop Flow Method by Karen Sistek

25 10 2011
I thought I would share this email from Karen Sistek regarding a technique she uses in silk painting. I had asked her how she uses “Magic Sizing”. This is her reply. Thank you Karen for allowing me to reprint this and share this with the other silk painters on Silk Painting Gallery Network.

“I am very happy to answer any questions. 
THe sizing is more of a ‘sizing’ ( I am thinking that it is similar to what the textile mfg. put into their fabrics at the mill). and works differently than the spray starch. I Originally started experimenting with spray starch and hair spray. I prefer the sizing.It leaves no film or thickness to the silk. It does work as a ‘stop flow’ as it fills the fibers of the silk….I dilute the dyes mostly with the sizing. ( rarely water) or alcohol, or VODKA. Yes, the Vodka works wonderfully and no smelly odors. With some colors, the Vodka actually is more reactive than the alcohol. I paint upright ( bad neck and back) and that was most helpful in creating this technique, as too much dye, and I have a whole new design!.. I use very little dye. I use an eye dropper ( fabulous dye bottle come with the dropper on the lid. They are from Susan Louise Moyer www.moyerdesigns.com ). and keep my dyes in water color trays, so that I can ‘sneak’ up on the dyes, with just the edges of my oval mop ( Robert Simmons oval mop. http://www.cheapjoes.com) keep the dyes on the edge of the brush…and ‘scrub’ the dyes into the silk, rather than applying more dye and letting it flow. Each stroke will leave a line, so it has to be moved and scrubbed immediately. 
I have students come from literally all over to learn my technique… and have been asked many times to video the process… just have not had time to pursue. 
If you go to my website and check out  “The Allemen Project Gallery”. I think that you might be able to see some of the process. I hope to have lots of new ‘stuff’ on my website soon! Right now, my husband is super busy making my frames for me….( he does EVERYTHING, .. manages our business and takes care of the house to allow me to paint paint paint!) 
I hope that you experiment soon.. and I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. 
Happy Painting! 
Karen Sistek “
Karen’s website is :

Tags: KarenMagicSistekSizingflowstopvodka

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5 responses

25 10 2011
Stop Flow Method by Karen Sistek « Silk Painting Tips

[…] : Edit Comments : Leave a Comment » Tags: Karen Sistek, magic sizing, no gutta, pre-treating silk, silk painting, stop flow […]

23 02 2014
do4silks

You do not mix Magic Sizing with the dye. You pre-treat the silk by spraying Magic Sizing on the silk. Let it dry and then paint with dye.. Karen Sistek is known for this method. You can read more about this method on her website or take lessons from her. Good luck.

23 02 2014
dyendesign

I am soo happy to read this article. I would like to try this technic plz. I will appreciate if u can answer some of my doubts plz…

How much is the ratio to mix dyes with sizing plz?
Do u use same magic sizing liquid for applying on silk before u paint on it!?
The sizing you use is for light fabric or heavy fabric?

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing technic plz. I look forward to learn from you a lot.

Best regards

24 02 2014
dyendesign

Hi do4silks,
thank you for the quick response.
And I ask for mixing ratio of dyes & sizing Bcoz in the above article Karen has mentioned that; ‘ I dilute dyes mostly with the sizing (rarely with water) or alcohol, or VODKA’.

24 02 2014
dyendesign

Also The link ‘The Allemen Project Gallery’ is not working. So I can’t find her website to check the process to learn more from her. Hope you can help me.

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