Finally, set up my first indigo dye pot.
As I don’t have any plants of my own, I used the reduced crystals from Pro-Chemical. I had spent a couple of evenings preparing some pieces for the pot. I mixed up my batch, with only a minor ‘did I do that right’.
These are pictures of a few of the first day’s efforts. The color is fantastic.
Unfortunately, it was very warm out. I had originally planned to do this in early May but as I recall we did have a lot of rain then.
By the time my session was over for the day, I had indigo all over my body, even in my hair. I think this is why I dislike painting the house. I do get into my work.
By the second day I was a bit cleaner. But then, I only had some simple ‘dips’ to do. My dye pot is still out there waiting for me. I may come up with a couple more things to put in it before it is no more.
I do enjoy making these neck pieces out of wire, especially 20 gauge. The available wire colors are a joy to work with. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show there is a steely bronze colored wire along with the blue. I think adding the additional color adds depth to the color of the overall piece.
One of the challenges I have had since I’ve started using wire is to be able to create a braid with 18 gauge wire. I do have a difficult enough time managing the tension using 20 gauge but the 18 gauge always eluded me. As I was going through one of my books, however, I spotted a structure that might help me overcome my problem.
This is my first semi-success with 18 gauge wire. Now that I have created a braid with it I think I’ll put that challenge aside.
Been busy doing things and forgetting to stop, take photos and post results. I follow several natural dye groups on Facebook and remember someone posting their process which included a 6 hour boiling bath. I decided to give it a try and, as you can see, the fig leaves gave amazing prints. The other botanicals are angel’s trumpet (brugmansia), rose petals, live oak leaves and bamboo leaves. The golden aura around the fig leaves is from the angel’s trumpet (mine are apricot in color). Even though the figs gave fantastic prints, the rose petals went past their red-pink stage and left a pinkish brown imprint. As I write this, I have more scarves in the pot cooling. I decided to try boiling these for 4 hours instead of 3 and use a different mix of botanicals. Anxious for them to cool and see the results.
Was reminded, when I saw a friend’s post today, that I forgot to include pictures of the paper I had also done when I processed the pieces shown in yesterday’s post. These papers were done in the same bath as the cotton/silk scarf seen below.
For the paper prints I used sweetgum leaves, oak leaves, bamboo, rosemary stalks and pear leaves. The paper was boiled for only 2 hours as opposed to the 3 hours I use for fabric. The bath had green tea and some rusty tomato cage pins.
Tried to get some color onto paper prints but my initial attempt, a couple of months ago, was very disheartening. Will have to make that my next paper project.
Had more Sweetgum fun. The first two pictures are silk habotai with sweetgum, dried rosemary stems, bauhinia plus miscellaneous all dipped in an iron solution. I love the rosemary resist. It was dipped in an iron solution which gave it that halo. This was then boiled in an iron solution bath with rusty bits added.
The third photo is a cotton/silk fabric. I used primarily oak leaves, pear leaves and bamboo. All leaves were dipped in an iron solution and boiled in an iron solution bath with rusty bits added.
The bath and dip I used for both was from an iron extract which was brown in color. I have prepared my own solution using rusty bits which is turning a very dark gray. Will be interesting to see if here is any difference.