Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A Bit More Dyeing

So having bought some alum it was time to do more dyeing. I had saved some bits I had pruned from the grape vine and after soaking them overnight boiled them for nearly 3 hours to get the colour out of them.

I really like the soft coffee colours achieved with this. The silks really lapped the dye up.

The next one I tried was Ivy. Chopped up fresh leaves and stems into a pan and again boiled them for nearly 3 hours. No overnight soaking. Now I have to say here that Ivy doesn't smell so good when it's boiled, in fact it stank the house out and gave me a headache! There's a lot to be said for doing this outside on a camping stove!!!! Anyway, that said I love the range of colours I've achieved on the different fabrics from a soft creamy green through to quite and acid colour on the silk.

So onto number three.....Dandelion roots, of which there are plenty in my garden! For every 1 I dig out another 10 seem to appear! Again they were soaked overnight and boiled for the best part of 3 hours. The liquid in the pan was a lovely rich dark brown colour. I have to say I was initially a little disappointed with the final colours achieved given that the dye bath colour looked so lush. But, having looked at the results for a while they are growing on me. Again, it seems to be the silks that take on the most colour.

Trust me, I've gone and spelt dandelion wrong on the label!!
The next batch of dyeing will be done outside!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Beside the Sea!

I have just come back from a wonderful week in Cornwall. The sun shone for virtually the whole week, my face is sun burnt & wind burnt and my legs are sore from all the walking we did! It was so lovely to sit by the sea and listen to the sounds of the waves.

This morning, I just had to have a play in my sketch book to remind my of my week. So using things I had scavenged from the beach I created my own piece of the seaside.

The page was first coated in a layer of decorators caulk then the shells, seaweed, pebbles & glass were added. Before it had the chance to start drying sand was sprinkled over the top. Once dried it was washed with blue and green inks

My very own little bit of Cornwall!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Garden Treasure Continued

I have been sketching the lovely pieces of bark I found in the garden. I love cutting up photos and filling them in to see what happens.

I have also been playing with sellotape to remove the photo from it's backing. Place sellotape over the photo and press down well. Soak in warm water for a few minutes then gently rub the reverse side to remove the paper. I've placed mine over a coloured textured piece of card. This has definite potential!

Now I just need to get some wide clear parcel tape to play with this a bit more.

A Perfect Misunderstanding

As part of my course work I have to do some naturally dyed fabric samples using plants and leaves as opposed to chemical dyes. Not having enough resources at home I headed for the library. As I could find nothing suitable on the shelves I approached the counter to enquire if they could get me in a book about natural dyeing.

Well Lisa typed in the search area to look for titles and turning to me with a somber face said....."we don't appear to have any books of that nature.......................have you tried talking to the Dr?"

At this point it dawned on me that she had typed 'natural dying' ( the 'e' makes a big difference!)
Needless to say we both ended up in hysterics once I had explained that I wanted to colour fabric rather than lay down and meet my maker!

So here are the first few pages of my samples book, none of these needed a mordent. I have to order some alum in order to continue with this experiment so more will follow later.