I have been experimenting with my jar dyed fabrics. I wanted to do something loosely based on the flaky scots pine bark that I have been playing with from the Common.
These are a couple of samples. In the interests of testing whether the dyes are at all colourfast and to distress the pieces, i threw them in the washing machine. Apart from a slight colour shift the dyes held well including the elderberry.
I then went onto working on a much larger scale
I am not sure this will make it into the exhibition since it is radically different to all the other work I have completed
As a little light relief from the stresses of last minute preparations for the Final exhibition, I decided to play around with mordanting with copper. I am always looking to find ways of dyeing with leaves that are distinct and different as I do not seek to replicate the work of others. This may be a way forward. These are the results – all on cotton sheeting.
I have just planted out my dye plants. Left are some very healthy weld plants from last year. I am surprised they look so good since the weather in 2012 was not conducive to good growth and results from all the other plants I grew were disappointing. Gone out today are a load of Japanese Indigo, some madder and a few dyers chamomile. At the back there are some black hollyhocks for which I have great hopes
This morning have been printing on iron mordanted linen with very young sycamore leaves. I am thrilled with the results. Every detail of each leaf is as clear as crystal, almost photographic. Amazing since they were unwrapped almost immediately from the pot. Am especially pleased since this fabric is reserved for a very special purpose, to be revealed later!
Having given up waiting for this seasons leaves to reappear, I have decided to work with what I have,namely these sweet chestnut leaves which are the only viable varieties now left on the common. I have now tried them every which way on different fabrics with different mordants on different poles. I think I have made a decision which may or may not be altered further along the line. The sample above was achieved with an iron mordant and is on khadi cotton ( hand woven, organic, fairly traded from India). I feel this will work well with the sepia photography I have been playing around with recently. The cloth itself is beautiful, with a lovely weight and drape and ideal for what I have in mind. More later, although the grand reveal will have to wait for the exhibition.