HA–looked at one of Jenny Dean’s first books and all this time i have been fretting about temperature–BOIL it says, BOIL. My previous experiments were quite low temps, and solar dyeing. With a half kilo of madder powder i thought WTH, i can afford to “ruin” one batch.
So i did. Boil that is, not ruin :) Not too long though, then let it simmer. Added a wee bit of brazilwood as well as i hear it fills up the red more as well. Left it alone all night. Pink, coral, deep apricot and tomato red, a nice nice nice range of colours of cotton and silk, a lovely augment to my stash.
MUCH happier, though still not that “turkey red”. It’ll do. It’ll do.
experiments delay tactics have put me behind on finishing the red winged figure—27 days left until the show!
Of course, it’s pretty hard to screw up with this stuff. Sort of surprised i didn’t :) Since i still have quite a bit left, time for some modifier/mordant adjustments. I really want the rose pink to red shades since i can’t get madder to work! OOPS EDIT: the dividing line is the second dark wool yarn—everything to the right of that was from a second immersion, proving the little buggers have an amazing amount of dye in them.
I have a plan for the latest colours, including the apricot from madder on silk fabric, and the blue thread from hibiscus. Don’t know if i can do it, not something i would normally do, but WTH, why not. When you see it, you’ll say “oh perfect!” too ;)
Working too on notes and ideas for an upcoming online stitch class, stay tuned!
Since i wrenched my back badly this weekend pulling particularly well seated roverbells, i am trying to keep major physical activity limited to soft walks and actual time in the stoodio. Well, why not use what i have had for awhile and not even attempted: why do i “hoard” these things??? I was lucky enough to have one of my “flood donaters” last year send me a small vial of cochineal bugs to rebuild my stash. And then lucky again to read Red2White’s (Monika) blog post about using TEEEEEENY amounts to get wonderful colours.
Above, IMMEDIATELY after adding the water, Below a deepening once the alum is added:
Even the calcium stain on the bowl i use to mix it was stained!
I know though that one thing i did wrong, was to add silk, wool and cotton to one “vat”–protein fibres take up faster than cellulose, so the cottons are going to be softer. But that’s okay for a test, and i’ll still have little bits to add to work. I have to be patient and leave it overnight at least, which makes me grind my teeth–i want it NOW!
What kind of frosts my cookies though is that when i worked in plant stores many years ago, i remember scraping the damn things off cacti–and eeeeuuwing about the gory red gunk i ended up with on fingers and tools–if i had only known!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s also time to drag out my brazilwood again, and the alkanet. Both have been used before in the beginning of my dye explorations: the brazilwood was immensely successful, the alkanet not so much. Time to follow instructions i guess :)
This background feels much better, stronger, proper:
This works better:
The gnarly stitching must be removed, and i think i’ll move the background over a wee bit more–though it’s not large enough for the canvas if i do that, that part will be hidden by the wing, so i *can* piece into it to extend it. The rusted area will be where the heart rests, so it needs to be a bit more visible. I am concerned about the upper right area though–what can i do to “fill” but not detract or distract from the rest of it? Do i move it up a bit too? But then i have to piece the bottom and i don’t want to do that.
This IS the right background, but SIGH, so many other things to take into consideration!
Or maybe the top photo *is* the correct orientation> How can i soften the edged effect???
Well, the embrilting is done at least! Now i have to turn edges, then attach to the backing and awaaaaay we go.
I’ve also changed the plan for the rest of the piece: that rusted figure just wasn’t speaking to me. She’ll move into the “possible future projects” pile and instead i’ll be using a piece of fabric i created in my 2012 residency:
It doesn’t quite look like this anymore, as i previously tried it for other work, bleaching out portions and then adding colour back in the form of red textile paint, but will work for the red wing’s background. I’ll also have to remove some pretty gnarly stitching i had done on it! I’m trying out orientation as well, not sure which direction it should/will go. It’s slightly smaller than the original canvas so i’m changing that as well, which means the wing itself needs thought about where and how much should fall off the edge. Even with all these rethinks, i am quite energized again about the whole!
This too (heart only, not the background) will make an appearance on it, again planned for a separate work, but things are falling together for a reason! (Good thing as i was starting to fall apart on this one with the timeline for finishing…..)
The background will tie all the red and natural colour in nicely.
A title, or the start of one at least, has finally made an appearance in my brain, but i’m not ready to reveal that as it still needs some fiddling. This is one time where i am thinking ahead enough to solidify the “statement” as well! “Concept”, or defining the concept, is not one of my favourite parts of creating, but in the end, they all DO have it, don’t they, or why would we make them, spend so much time and blood on them????
I had hoped to be doing another ecoprint workshop on Bowen Island this fall, but alas, the organizer has a lot on her plate, and we must adjourn it until sometime next year. This means though that i can teach online again, thinking of a stitch class, a different one than previous courses. I will post an update when i’ve finalized plans for that!