Thursday, July 21, 2011

Solar Dyeing Silk

This incredible heat wave we are having is great for solar natural dyeing! The concept is much like making sun tea. Along with water and a piece of silk, the jar on the right contains black hollyhocks, the center is onion skins and the left is coreopsis flowers. The heat from the sun pulls the color from the plant material and deposits it on the silk. I pre-treated the silks with alum and rinsed them before adding to the jars. It is so hot that I think we will have results very quickly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ice Flower Dyed Scarf

From a photo it is impossible to appreciate the gorgeous teal and aqua shading created by the ice flower dye on silk. The dark areas are prints from the iris touching the silk. I think the copper pipe may have contributed some of the greener tones in combination with heat from the July sun. To achieve blues through a natural dye other than indigo is pretty special. I am so happy with the outcome! An added bonus is the dye smells like iris, one of my favorite scents.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vegetable Wool Tiles

tomato tile, eggplant, pea, carrot, onion and radish Several visitors to Kutztown inquired about tiles other than the three I had with me. Here are several more. I will post additional veg, and fruit too, as I get them done.

For the uninitiated: These are approx 8" square, ready to hang, 100% hand felted wool for both the base tile and the image. They are $39 each.

Ice Flower Dyeing

I am back from the nine day long Kutztown Folk Festival and getting ready for
my next big event, the PA Guild Fine Craft Fair at the Chase Center in Wilmington DE.

During our short spring I saved all of my dark blue and purple iris along with some blue pansies. As the flowers started to wilt I popped them in a Ziploc bag and tucked them in the freezer. I removed a couple handfuls of frozen iris and placed them in an old stocking. I plunged it into a gallon jar of warm water and squeezed to release the gorgeous blue dye. Then I added two silk scarves, one is loose and the other is wrapped around a section of copper heat pipe from my house that had frozen and split this winter.

This concotion has to sit still for a day or two. I will post pictures of the dyed silks when they are ready!