Some natural dyeing and printing results

After my experimentation with some old op shop cottons and linens which had been soy mordanted a while ago, I got some muddy colours and very little print.

The red flowered gum leaves, blossoms and nuts gave a good coloured dye after cooking for an hour and then leaving for 24 hours. I strained the plant material from the water, added some alum to the pot, soaked the cottons in water for an hour and then bundled up. The cottons and a couple of scrap pieces of bridal satin were used with the leaves from the pot, some melaleuca sprigs and some eucalyptus cineria that had been soaked in rainwater. Some of the cooked leaves were dipped in iron water, most of the bundles were tied with silk tape around bamboo sticks, two were bundled around iron rods.

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After reading Irit Dulman’s latest blog post I will try a bit more experimentation this week-thank you Irit for sharing some of your processes, we would love to see you in Australia!

I am thinking now of dyeing my upcycled linen dress in onion skins first and then try the overprint with the leaves. I will do a few more samples and see how they turn out before committing to the dress.

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Onions skins and bark cooking

I will pop a few pieces in the pot tomorrow.

 

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October 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment

Rosellas and spring

These blossoms and leaves were collected beneath the red flowering gum tree as a flock of rosellas (or pandemonium of parrots) feasted above. They are very messy eaters with blossom and branches strewn all around.

There are signs of spring everywhere: daffodils, blossoms and new growth, but also the chill of winter still in the air with snow falling not too far away and torrential rain the last few days.

They will be cooked up and rolled in various op shop cottons (with a soy mordant) to see what colour the spring will bring, perhaps a little iron water in a second batch. I have a sprig of dried cineraria from the florist that will be soaked and added to the bundle for comparison. Results will be posted in a week or two.

September 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

Printing, marbling, felting & more-a catch up

We have had some great plays on fabric recently at our GeeTAG group. Our fifth Saturday play day at Shearer’s Arms studio has enabled us to spend extended time on messy play. At our April messy day we tried lino and meat tray prints, stencilling using brusho, printing with a variety of materials, marbling on fabric, flour paste resist and a technique using textas and methylated spirits to colour fabric.

Printing, stencilling & colouring

My marbled fabric, centre bottom, was a little grainy as it was the first pull of the ink off the carrageenan. After a couple of prints the clarity improved. The flour paste resist is something I will experiment with more (right top) and the top left was our regular Saturday meeting, topic: Stitch on paper, where we made paper fabric using a variety of papers pasted onto calico. I also aged my paper with a few dabs of walnut ink when I got home.

Nuno felting

Our March meeting was nuno felting and I made the piece above for the front cover of my book, the 2017 “Choose your own adventure’ project for GeeTAG. I have just dyed some more fleece in walnut ink to make another piece for the back cover.

Auditioning threads

Above you can see a glimpse of the gum nut panel I have been working on for Dijanne Cevaal’s ‘Aussie Bush’ project. I have added some organza over the design, framed it with some of my natural dyed, printed silk, FME’d and will add some hand stitch elements. I dyed some silk in walnut ink for the binding but it is not as dark as I would like so I may re-immerse that again to get a nice dark frame for the work.

May 28, 2017 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Hip Hip Decay

Last weekend I experienced a magical workshop with Suzanne McRae who travelled all the way from Ballarat each day to share her amazing talent. We were encouraged to use her techniques but develop our own characters and the most important thing I learnt was how the ‘less is more’ applies, particularly in this instance.

So this is Professor Priscilla Possum not quite finished yet:

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She is a ringtail possum, which are quite common in our little neck of the woods.

I still have to sew the clothes, add some old buttons, do a little more on the face (a little detail trick Suzanne shared with us) and make a mini leather covered book to place under her arm.

You can see Kerrie’s characterful bird here. Thank you to the Art dolls ladies for sharing this workshop and in particular Jenny for her wonderful organisation.

February 5, 2017 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Eco print and dye

While pottering around the shed finishing up some GeeTAG postcards, I decided to clean up and used some silk wedding offcuts I discovered for a spot of eco dyeing. I had a container of water that I had soaked some seaweed in to get rid of the sand so I added that to the pot with extra tap water- still waiting for the water tank to be installed- and some nuts and bolts. The first batch used prunus, sheoak, feijoa and melaleuca leaves and were tightly wrapped and tied with silk thread around some dried bamboo sticks foraged from the garden and a metal tine that had snapped off my garden fork. This was brought to a simmer for 1-2 hours then left to cool in the pot overnight. The metal tine was great on top to keep everything submerged.

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Second from the left are some linen offcuts from an Op Shop dress I am refashioning before eco-dyeing. The experimentation is to check the effects before dyeing the whole dress. The dress I bought was many sizes too big so I removed the sleeves and used the top of the sleeves to make armhole facings, added darts as well as taking in the side seams and cutting 12 inches off the bottom.

Here are the results of the first cooking:

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Silk around metal tine

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More wedding silk offcuts

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And the linen-more subtle with lines from the sheoak:

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For the dress I think I will try a pre-mordant in soy, eucalyptus bath and adding some alum to brighten.

The second cook up resulted in darker colour out of the pot:

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The wrapping was again with the bamboo sticks and metal tine but using red onion skins, rose and prunus leaves.

Much stronger patterning on the wedding silk:

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close up

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The linen sleeve:

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and a fine silk loom end:

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For all these I have laid out the organic material on half the fabric then folded over, rolled and tied. You can see this side by side here but one is the right side and the other the wrong (not mirror image) so it gave great prints on both sides of this quite thin silk.The lime green is the rose leaves-fresh from the bush- this was from my large weeping crepuscule rose.

The darker areas were the outside of the rolls where you can see the imprint of the wrapping threads.

I quite often cut up these dyed scraps to use for lots of different projects. I have been searching for a thin woollen blanket at Op shops for a while to layer and hand stitch  my pieces onto to create a warm throw.

I am hoping to dye the dress next week, 36C here tomorrow so not a good day to be steaming up the shed/studio. We will be watching the fire reports just in case.

 

 

January 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Xmas

I have been housebound with my only trips out being to the hospital for the last 3 weeks following surgery. Due to ongoing issues it is not looking like I will be out of the house for another week. Luckily I am able to do little tasks like sitting and stitching and using the computer so not totally dire. Also I can water and enjoy all the beautiful flowers that are out at the moment including this amazing fuschia:

fuschia

The GeeTAG group held their Christmas party on December 10th which I wasn’t able to attend, but Marilyn very kindly picked up my little pudding parcel for our stitching KK and dropped a new parcel back to me. The idea was to prepare a parcel of textile goodies in a colour scheme that could be used to create our last postcard (or book page) of the year.

I received a huge parcel in return and did curse the sender a little as I sat and unravelled all the threads and ironed all the sari silk pieces. However it did give me time, as I sorted and bagged everything up, to think about the bits and pieces and what sort of postcard I would make from them. I think I have channelled the thoughts of the giver.

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I used inktense sticks to colour the background, which was cut from the calico bag the parcel came in. There was an organza star embellished sleeve included which became the stars in the night sky. There was an interesting piece of natural dyed cotton which became the stable.

The Magi is in progress: I will hand embellish all the beautiful sari silk pieces and other little treasures onto the pelmet vilene before hand stitching in place.

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Also trying to get a few christmas gifts made in between naps.

 

 

 

December 14, 2016 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Medieval Dragon is home

My Medieval dragon from Dianne Cevaal’s Medieval touring exhibition arrived safely home this morning.

It is always fun when apiece of textile art returns to you. While heavily involved in developing and working on a piece of art is difficult to be objective. However when if comes back after a prolonged journey appraisal is so much easier with that distance.

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Overall I am very happy with the embellishment of Dijanne’s linoprint and my binding is improving. I do find sometimes I do not allow enough time for the finishing details when working to a deadline. It is like finishing knitting a jumper and then underestimating the time it will take to sew in all those ends and hand sew together.

I used a variety of stitches and techniques including beading, foiling, gold leather and I’m pretty happy with the overall effect. Some of the beading has come a little loose so next time I will double stitch all the beads and back stitch each one, especially for a travelling situation.

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Dijanne is sending out linoprints at the moment for her next touring exhibition: Aussie Bush Project. It is a great way to practice colour and stitching design skills while producing something that will tour for a year-very satisfying and meditative.

December 7, 2016 at 10:05 am 1 comment

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