I am having so much fun!! This is a totally new direction for me and it is just plain magical. Working with natural dyes and printing with plants......who knew ??
A dear friend of mine, who is an amazing fiber artist, sponsored a workshop at the Oregon Coast with Pia Best-Reignhaus and I signed up. This was possibly a misjudgment on my part due to the fact that I have never had ANY experience with dying and the workshop was a Master's Class, but I made it through, learned a lot and am now in the process of going back and learning the basics.
The picture to above is part of what we learned in class using indigo, rust and plant materials....beautiful and interesting results.
It was a great workshop. The weather at the coast was perfect (although a little windy) and the projects were very successful.
After the 5 day workshop, I went home and started experimenting on my own creating dyes from things in the kitchen, like celery leaves, carrot tops, onion skins, avocado pits, artichoke water and red cabbage. The results were better than I expected.
I have been collecting all sorts of leaves to used for the printing process and that has been an adventure as too. I now travel with a pair of clippers with me at all times, just in case. Slowly, I am getting to know what leaves print well that grow in our yard and the surrounding neighborhood.
this was dyed with celery leaves and printed with Sweet Gum, Eucalyptus and Smoke Bush leaves The celery gave it a "yellow green" color, the iron I used as a mordant shifted the color to a mossy green.
this scarf was dyed with Logwood, which I purchased from Dharma Trading, and it was printed with rose leaves from our yard, wild rose leaves, also from our yard, Eucalyptus and Smoke Bush"fuzz". This scarf goes perfectly with a particular outfit in my closet....so I think it is going to stay in my personal collection. So far I have only purchased Logwood and Indigo, everything else has been from Farmer's Market!
You never know what is going to happen and there is anticipation overtime you unbundle a project. This silk charmeuse scarf was printed with some large leaf maple leaves and they gave up the most beautiful green and the prints were very clear.
So I am totally hooked on the process. A dye studio is in the process of being set up on the back deck and I have taken over part of my husband's shop for my steamer and spinner...that's where the deep sink is. Drying racks are now set up outside and there are all sorts of buckets and pots that have been collected from junk stores and Goodwill. Leaves are being collected and flattened to be stored for use in the Winter to come....it's all very exciting. I am pretty sure I know what the ladies in our family will be getting for Christmas. Shhhhh, don't tell.
My plan is to add scarfs to my website www.margaretjoyceart.com in the near future. So, that's what is new in my world. I leave you with some pictures taken at the workshop, perhaps you will be inspired too.