Indigo dyeing results

After many rinses these are my indigo dyed pieces from the weekend, what a huge learning curve!

Our first day was spent making up our individual vats and preparing fabric so that it could dry overnight.

On the second day we began by dyeing a gradation. My pieces had 1 dip (+soda ash dip), 1 dip indigo vat, 5 dips indigo vat, 8 dips indigo vat. It is amazing how much these lightened after all the rinses, however my ipad photos are not showing them as dark as they actually are.

We then worked on our own projects using fabric we brought with us. I stitched up some curved lines using running stitch and overhand stitch:

I also stitched a circle which was pulled up tightly and secured then covered with plastic to give a beautiful moon:

And a silk ombre scarf with one dip all over and 2 or 3 extra dips on the ends:

I am looking forward to the arrival of the portable heating element so I can do more indigo dyeing. Next up will be some Bengal muslin (bought to support the stitching project in India from Ballarat Fibre Forum) for a Traveller’s Blanket with Dijanne Cevaal.

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November 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Indigo Dyeing in the forest

After a circuitous route via Monsalvat (amazing buildings and interesting art), Kuranga Native nursery (for some Eucalyptus cineria) and a beautiful drive through the Dandenongs I arrived at Marty & Jude’s wonderfully historic house for an indigo dyeing workshop. The house was originally used in the 1940’s as a sewing factory and then in the 50’s as a school annexe while the secondary school was extended. Jude kindly allowed me to rent her guest room for a totally immersive weekend. I woke this morning to see the resident sheep and goats quietly munching away (lawn movers and pruners).

She has a spacious room for classes, opening out onto a courtyard for messy work. Throughout the house her naturally dyed artwork sets a beautiful ambiance and her deck has the most magnificent views down to the creek. If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop at her home studio grab it. Postscript-she has space in November for a 2 day Indigo dyeing workshop.

This is preparing the indigo, with the lime and fructose ready to be added.

I will post some photos of my results tomorrow when I have finished rinsing.

This is a wonderful kimono made from workshops with the local secondary school:

Thank you Jude, I had a wonderful weekend immersed in a beautiful place.

November 4, 2018 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Victorian EG Challenge and the winner is….

I was very excited when returning home from a week at the TAFTA Geelong Fibreforum (post coming) to find I had won the Challenge exhibit at the Embroiderers Guild Exhibition for my goldwork bag– on in Melbourne for two weeks until 20th October. Today I received a certificate and an amazing box of  goodies donated by the wonderful Sequin Bazaar – Yahhh! Even better when I emptied them out. Thank you to Alison Cole – goldwork master tutor.

8 October 20181

 

 

October 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm Leave a comment

Photos for Arlee

These are the bigger photos Arlee requested.

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August 13, 2018 at 7:35 pm 1 comment

The slow stitch boro bag

I am really enjoying the variety of bags that are appearing on India Flint’s bagstories group on Facebook. I began slow stitching a boro bag when I was recovering from surgery and couldn’t focus for long periods of time. It is a great project to pick up and continue in those little moments of rest. For this bag I used scraps of sari silk, indigo dyed kimono scraps, some eco dyed silk and some lovely natural dyed fabrics and threads from Arlee whose blog I follow.

I decided to stitch this in a quilterly way so layered the lining fabric (a lovely print of an indigenous painting), some padding and then the patches of scraps were pinned. The stitching evolved as I sat and stitched with no real premeditation. the strap also evolved, starting with some indigo dyed cotton-thanks Arlee, onto a wool blanket remnant. It was a little scrappy and not strong enough so I added a wrapping with the madder dyed (I think Arlee??) fabric. Some seams were machine stitched as there were so many layers. Having the padding means it will be perfect to carry my laptop to Uni for the PhD meetings.

2018-08-04

I enjoyed this one so much I think I will start another in the Spring term break. Next time I will try using the doll needle (a tip I read somewhere) and use a wool blanket padding. I will also add the lining separately for a better internal finish.

 

August 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

Some slow stitch

I have been housebound the last two weeks following surgery so slow stitch by hand has been very therapeutic. I recently purchased a download version of India Flint’s bagstories self publication and have three bags in process. India has also started a Facebook group for sharing the results which provides lots of inspiration. The first two need finishing details. The first one I made from a remnant of linen and appliqued fragments of my ‘eco-printed’ silks and cottons. I added a strap using a cashmere and wool sample but find it a little long so I am thinking about how to remedy that. The lining is silk dyed/printed using iron water. It will have a closure added, still browsing the ideas on Facebook to decide on that.

Tsunobukuro bag

The second is hand stitched using squares of natural dyed and printed silks and cottons. It needs a closure of some kind and a strap, I will hopefully finish these over the coming days. The squares had some disappointing natural dyed cottons used like paper piecing in quilts so I will also add a full lining to finish and strengthen it, maybe cotton or linen as the outside is all silk. This is a picture of some of the squares in process:

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_b294

little squares bag

The third bag is a very slow stitch one: a boro bag with lots of vintage indigo and sari bits, my own ‘ecoprints’ and I will also add some naturally dyed fabric and threads I purchased from Arlee Barr (be warned these took almost a month to arrive by post-blaming Australia post dis-service for that) once the base fabrics are secured.

Boro bag stitching

As well as these projects on the go and cogitating, I have just finished my contribution to India’s ‘gardens of the heart’ project which will culminate in an exhibition in South Australia early next year and also a publication of the resulting poems. Each participant is allocated line 1,2 or 3 of a short poem to stitch. Here is mine below using whipped chain stitch on natural dyed and printed bridal silk remnant, photographed among the she-oak and grevillea this morning (very dull morning today):

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June 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Ballarat Fibrearts 2018

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Fibrearts week at Ballarat, based at Ballarat Grammar. The weather was sublime-amazingly and I enjoyed many early morning walks around Lake Wendouree. A week long retreat is a great way to become immersed in a technique or theme with the bonus of lots of different classes to visit and chat to during the week.

The class I attended was Claire Benn‘s text on textiles. We had a very small class of 5 with very different art backgrounds which was great for bouncing ideas around. Claire was a very professional tutor and we had lots of notes and techniques to further explore at home.

What a great crew!

We experimented with lots of techniques including writing text with multiple instruments on multiple substrates, paper and fabric.

My favourite technique was the breakdown printing, which I hope to experiment lots with to get multiple layered backgrounds. Using the mx dyes was great as the fabric, once washed out, has a beautiful soft hand. I would like to try this technique with some natural dyes. Kerrie dd a blog post for GeeTAG here about the breakdown printing I demo’ed at a meeting.

The last day was the exhibition of all the groups’ work, here is just a small selection of some fantastic pieces with Kerrie’s memory piece bottom left and my breakdown printing on the right:

Ballarat 2018

On the last day Claire did a lucky dip for leftover materials, I was lucky enough to score the book below as well as some dyes and Manutex. Here is Claire in front of our group display.

Ballarat 2018

I would highly recommend the Ballarat fibrearts week as a great way to do some intensive textile art work as well as having great fun with like minded people.

 

 

 

May 7, 2018 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

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