Wednesday, 26 October 2011

First bundle

First bundles

My bundles are looking pretty good, a much darker colour than I expected to get. And while they didn't smell too good while they were simmering away (a bit cabbagey) they smell lovely now, the essence of autumn distilled. The dark colour may be due in part to the fact that I had used the pan for tea dyeing in the past and it is pretty well impregnated with tea.

I've managed to last a week before opening one... I chose the second from the left to unwrap - I just had to open one of them to see what had happened!

This one is a strip of old sheeting.  Here are the leaves that came out of it - no longer the lovely dark red they were!

First bundle unwrappedAnd this is the result, hanging up to dry after rinsing in cold water. I am absolutely thrilled with it!  There are lovely rich browns, quite a bit of yellow which doesn't show too well in the photograph, and even some pinky bits.  And some nice patterning where the thread was wrapped round it too.

It will be interesting to see how much of the colour stays when it dries and whether it fades quickly or not.

I'm leaving the others a bit longer... not sure quite how long before I can't resist opening them!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A new project

I know, I must be mad starting something new... but I am thinking ahead because I will need a project to show with my textiles group and I am trying not to be too last minute this year!  Our theme is 'Collections' and it seemed to me to be the perfect opportunity to try something I have been thinking about for a while.

I have been dying cloth for my embroidery with tea for a long time but I first became interested in dying cloth with other natural materials when I was making my vegetable paper.  I noticed that the brighter vegetables stained the pressing cloths, and some colour remained even after washing.  And sometimes when I re-used the washed cloths the vegetable colour in the cloth would affect the colour of the new vegetable paper, so the veg dyed the cloth which in turn dyed the veg...  A little while later I discovered India Flint and was completely awestruck by her work, if you don't know of her do go and check it out.

So I am going to do a series of experiments, bundling cloth with natural materials and other things that I collect (the shoreline turns up some interesting bits of rusty metal at times...).  Cooking it, leaving it, maybe even burying it, I'm not expecting spectacular results, I'm just interested to see what happens.  The bundles will be a personal record of my year.  And since the best thing I can do with my bundles is be patient and leave them alone I hope the project will fit in with the madness that is my life at the moment!

I've started with a few leaves picked up in my local park, wrapped in some well worn upcycled cotton sheeting, some butter muslin and a piece of my wedding dress silk (what do you mean it's not normal to cut up your wedding dress?!)

They simmered away for a couple of hours in some (rather murky) rainwater in an old aluminium pan which I'm sure must have come from my grandmother, if not even from her mother. And now I shall leave them for a while. I wonder how long I can manage before I can't resist opening at least one little bundle?

And, I had some lovely roses for my birthday last week.

It would be a shame to let all those leaves go to waste... I'm not sure if the petals will do anything, but no harm in trying!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I'm still here!

Yes, I know, I haven't even managed a once-a-week post since term started, let alone once-or-twice...  I was hit by an unexpected bout of exhaustion last week, I don't think it had anything to do with the start of term, more likely I was fighting off a bug of some sort.  But the timing could have been better!

I am getting back into the swing of things now, and my timetable is a little easier/more flexible this year too.  Although of course the one evening when I am likely to be home late is the one evening when the boys have to eat early - but it's good for them to have to fend for themselves sometimes!

I don't have much to show you yet, have made some plaster moulds but they're not all that exciting!  I've been catching up on various jobs at home today including photographing some bits for listing in my hypsela shop.  There are a couple more of my collagraph prints

The View from Here II

The View from Here IV

and something new, a couple of ACEOs. I was aiming for an 'ancient seaside postcard' look...

ACEO Seaside Postcard 1

ACEO Seaside Postcard 2

They were a development from the design work I did for the collagraph prints - I liked the technique and thought I would experiment further with it.  Although I do love the ACEOs, I think they might work better a bit bigger.  Maybe some 'actual' postcard size ones, or greetings cards?


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