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 :

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4 responses

18 02 2012
How Do You Sign Your Name on a Silk Painting? « Silk Painting Tips

[...] pens can spread some on silk. However if the silk is pre-treated in some way say with No-Flow or Magic Sizing  then you can write on silk and get a pretty clean [...]

16 04 2013
Tammi Vaughan

I am giving the Magic Sizing Technique a try with the Jacguard Green Label dyes and was wondering if I can set the dye with liquid dyeset instead of steaming?

7 08 2013
appliance repair orange county calif

Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post
to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed
soon. Cheers

2 10 2013
do4silks

Hmmmm thanks I will have to figure out a fix.

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