Friday, August 31, 2012

New Paper

I've taken a break from natural dye experiments to make some paper. The results of my labors of Wednesday and Thursday:

I like the way the colors from an eco-bundling experiment coordinate with the colors of the paper.

Participating in ArtSpace New Haven's CWOS This Year

 As time consuming as it was to gather the information needed and then to create an artist statement, bio and CV for the Silo Gallery Show, it certainly makes things easier now. I've just signed up to participate in the annual ArtSpace New Haven City-Wide Open Studios during the Alternative Space Weekend, October 20-21. A little copying and pasting was all that was needed to set up a new Artist Profile on ArtSpace's website.

I'm excited about this opportunity. I've visited CWOS annually since 2008 and have had a goal to participate one day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marigold Dye Results

Here are the results of the dyeing I did with marigold (Tagetes sp.) flowers:

Top Left: alum mordanted cotton 
Middle Left: alum mordanted linen
Bottom Left: alum mordanted cotton in 2nd use of dyebath
Top Right: copper mordanted cotton
Bottom Right: alum mordanted cotton dyed with marigold leaves

(the colors are greener and brighter than they appear here on my computer monitor. the photo was taken under fluorescent lights. I will take another photo in natural light then swap it if it turns out better.)
I also did some eco-bundles with fresh marigold flowers and leaves. These are the results:

Marigold flowers

Marigold leaves

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marigold Dye

Today I dyed cotton fabric with marigold (Tagetes patula varieties). 
 I used flower heads that I gathered and froze last summer and fall as well as a few fresh flowers gathered today. I also made a dye bath with the frozen leaves and stems.

I simmered both for a half hour, let it sit for an hour, then added the fabric.

In the marigold flowers bath are copper-mordanted cotton on the left and alum-mordanted cotton on the right. A better look at the different results from the mordants:
with copper mordant

with alum mordant
The marigold leaves yielded a soft green which is difficult to see in this photo. This is on copper-mordanted fabric. I neglected to take a photo of the alum-mordanted.

These are the color results after immediately immersing the fabric in the dye baths. I left them to soak in the baths for a few days to hopefully produce a more saturated color.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eco Bundling - OMG!

Now that I have completed the work for Inspirations, my first art showing at The Silo Gallery, I have moved on to other projects. Namely papermaking and continuing to experiment with natural dyes and dyeing.

On Sunday afternoon, I mordanted two of the four batches of cotton fabric (old bed sheets) which I treated with tannin back in March (see post here), one batch with alum and the other with copper. I let the batches sit in the mordants until yesterday when I wrung them out, rinsed the copper and half the alum- treated pieces and hung all to dry.

I cut up some of the rinsed, alum treated cotton to experiment with.  I am testing "cold water dyeing" with walnut hulls and oak bark, so a piece of fabric went into a small dye bath of each. Will let those sit for a few days to absorb the most color.

I have been wanting to try "eco-bundles", which India Flint describes in her book on natural dyeing, Eco-Colour.  Now that the fabric was ready, I was able to do so.  I rolled fresh flower petals from Othello roses, pink Pelargoniums, Tithonias, petunias, cosmos, rudbeckias, salvia and catmint. Leaves of woad, orange mint, lemon balm, broadleaf plantain, Lysimachia, sage, beet stems and leaves were also rolled and all were bundled with rubber bands.

These were then steamed for one hour and left to cool overnight.

 India suggests leaving the bundles for a week to let the colors fully develop, but I could not resist taking a peak of each today! And OH MY GOSH how gorgeous that peak is!! I unrolled a few. Here are some photos. We'll see if I can wait a week to unroll the rest!

Othello rose petals

top layer: rudbeckias, cosmos, salvia, catmint (see above)
bottom layer: rudbeckias, cosmos, salvia, catmint
Pelargonium petals

beet stems and leaves

tithonia flowers

As a papermaker and printmaker, you know I will be experimenting with achieving these results on paper!

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