Birch Bark

I am continuing to use the Common as a starting point for new work. During all the windy weather many birch trees came down and I have been collecting bits of the bark with the view to exploring its dye potential.Image

A rather lovely piece. The bit that has the dye in it is the layer of bark under the white outer. It was extremely difficult to prise it away from the wood. However I managed to put together enough for my purposes. I decided to use the ‘slow method’ of leaving it in a jar I wrapped one of the pieces of fabric in some old beer bottle tops also gathered from the Common. It has been stewing away on my window ledge for about 3 weeks. The intention was to leave it longer however I noticed this morning it was looking distinctly murky so I decided that enough was enough and I tipped the whole lot into a pan and then boiled it up to kill anything that was growing in it. These are the resultsImage

I think there is potential here and the whole process merits further investigation. 

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A Little Stitching

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As a way of marking time more productively I am working on a new piece. It is constructed from some of the mass indigo session I had in the summer. Fabric is pieced then waxed and then washed leaving it with some body. The plan is to have a large cut work panel right down the middle.


Waxed vessels

As a way of marking time I thought I would make some waxed and printed bags. This I quickly abandoned when I realised that although I do not particularly like my machine I do need to keep it in some kind of working order and this was not the way to go. Instead rather than waste the material I decided to make some very simple vessels and once started I got a bit carried away. I had forgotten how much I like working in 3D. What I am going to do with them, I am as yet unsure. I like the way the light shines through them so maybe I will play a bit with that.

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In Print (or is that on Screen)

I am thrilled to find that my work has been featured in an article on textileartist. org. This is a great online resource for anyone interested or involved on textile art and has an international following. This is the link


All Done!

Autumn seems to have come early this year, Lots of leaves are on the turn.

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This awareness has been instrumental to my dyeing like a madwoman over the last couple of weeks. I do not wish to be in the position that I was in with my final body of work with a ton of inspiration but nothing to work with. In the end this lack was quite serendipitous and determined the final outcome in an extremely positive way. However I have lots of things in the pipeline over the next few months so I need materials on hand to follow through. I have now finally hung up my dyepots for the forseeable future. My hands are a seemingly fetching shade of grey and the conservatory looks like hell.
I am in need of some more tissue pieces. Unfortunately. although interestingly the prints on the paper I used at the beginning of the year were rubbish so I had to use a thicker paper which seemed to come out ok

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I only hope I will be able to use them in the same way as the finer tissue
By the time I had finished with all the paper the water in my pot was as black as ink so I put in some final pieces of fabric with dramatic effect.IMG_0354

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I have now got my needle and thread out with the aim of stitching all winterIMG_0356-001

These are just little bits of nonsense – samples to work out where I am going.


More Copper

Had another session of printing with copper. I have to conclude that for me it is the most successful method of eco printing although am not sure how eco it is with all that copper – not something to be done every day. This lot is earmarked and will be stashed away for later.P1020160

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Got the Blues (at Last!)

The indigo vat I started the other day was a flop and although it worked for a while it did not impress and no amount of coaxing and additions improved things, I disposed of it. However I have a project in mind that needs to be blue so with my very best Mayan indigo, I started another vat. This time complete success!

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The cloth I am using are actually cleaning cloths bought from a car boot sale. They have clearly been used and laundered but they are 100% cotton and are fabulous to stitch with. The only limitation is the size which is about 30cm by 30cm. I have or had literally hundreds of these and I think that the lot cost about £5.00.

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I am extremely pleased with the results, my hands are now an alarming shade of blue!