Sunday, May 23, 2010

the eye of the storm

the country is going to the dogs
I've had hardly any paying work since autumn
I'm busy organising gigs, workshops, anything, at any price. All municipal money for culture has been frozen, by the government
sometimes I am paralyzed by anxiety
mostly I make do
but, in the midst of all this and more
I'm having fun. and much more than fun
collecting fleeces
making and undoing bundles
the cloth to cloth online course by jude hill
plantdyed silk on cotton
If I put an eye in there it will be a storm
a spidersweb
a sun
a dreamplace
it is waiting do become

as is

he he sons clothes slowly turning into drawstring bag
a beginning

and some more which are beginnings of beginnings, sparks of ideas searching for their shape

no more words, I will sleep, and dream, and weave


I have to catch the wool before they trample them into the manure and straw. the conditions are rather primitive, I'm not sure they are hygenic. Probably the sun does all the good work
the colours are fantastic, or will be after I wash them. all the white bits are grey this year, it is charcoal
the pens are outdoors, of course, under standing burnt pine trees

they throw these fleeces away.
I see rugs, bags, maybe a yurt??thank you, ladies for giving me your winter coats

Monday, May 10, 2010

a blessing in my dyepots

when I opened this bundle, I got goosebumps. I still look at it in short glances.
it is a long piece of heavy cotton. there were copper pipes in there and rusty scraps of metal
another one with coins
twice folden, thrice dyed
coreopsis. many more to come
the sig vat, rug yarn- I like this so much, my mind is turning to weaving
these are strips tied with rusty stuff and left in the remnants of dyebaths, pomegranate, onionskins
pile of rags, poppy iceflower in the back
indigo. cotton sheet. many dips. my firdt!I am so grateful

Monday, May 3, 2010

red and blue on the same day

this ones roots are safe from me
red trails-or are they rivers?
put in dry, long soaks in the vat, washed many times...yes, the smell does go away. 2 dips. you can see the top of Helen Melvins "The Colour of Sea and sky" which has been a great help in the indigo venture, along with J. Liles "The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing"
my bundles warming up on the corner of the veranda
eucalyptus leaves shadows. I like this. I wish I left them longer
more prints on the bundle with the madder root. they were not left long enough to develop. they will probably get an ironwater treatment. and I don't know what gave the green...I'll turn into a meticulous notetaker yet
the madder in a jar with water. it is fermenting visibly after 24hrs
anthemis tinctoria, the green is overdyed with poppy iceflower,underneath all pomegranate rind warp yarn
bark soaking for the next round
while peeking into a bundle, impatient as always, I got a surprise.
deep lovely red
the bundle was hastily unbundled, and it was true..the orange root of madder gave me a deep red
I;ve been bundling up pieces of my pomegranate cloth, with leaves and metals
I simmered them in eucalyptus bark dyebath with more rusty nails, they are a very satisfactory black colour, now they are stewing in the very hot sun
there are coins in there as well, and some of the bundle cores are copper pipes, people just throw them out.
I have never been given red from madderroot before, and I am very excited
this madder was collected on May 1 in Varnavas, next village up, and it grows in very different conditions than it does here, in Grammatiko. I found it near a path in the forest where there is a lot of water, and the soil was moist, at places saturated with water. these were young roots, I didn't have a digging tool with me, so I just dug in a little bit and pulled out some intensely orange coloured roots, thin ones
I believe the preparation of the cloth has been very important. They have been scoured with caustic soda and lots of olive oil soap, which may have acted as the rancid oil of old.
it has been premordanted in succesive dips of wood ash lye and soya milk, and then dyed in pomegranate rind soup, cold
1st note to prospective dyer: Prepare, prepare, prepare. it is certainly worth it
a few remarks
my water is hard. very hard.
soya milk is fantastic. it is worth getting good quality beans.
sit on your hands. let those bundles age.
as long as possible.
keep notes on process. I may want to try to do it again
it feels like a gift from the land

the technique of bundling up plant matter is from India Flints " eco colour", a book which has led me to many a joyous dyeing experience. I am grateful to india for publishing this book. It s place is by my bed, and even just reading it gives me much enjoyment.

and the blue

yayyy again! I am dancing with joy
my urine vat is getting there! smelly, ammoniacal, ph over 9, sitting in the sun all day long, it has not been lazy at all. the indigo is reducing, it is dyeing strips of cotton , and yesterday it was washfast
I am so excited that my mind is running around itself trying to decide what to do first

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...