17 October, 2015

Bobbing for Walnuts

black walnut dye bath
A black walnut dye bath smells to me like ginger beer.

I made a batch and tinted a thrift store print dress to turn the white background into a light shade of brown that is more harmonious with the red and brown in the print.  I dyed some cotton jersey fabric with walnut and then with a rather exhausted indigo vat, and got a dull blotchy brown.  I dyed a couple of silk scarves and got a rich, warm shade of brown with lighter shades where I bound the scarves with yarn.  One scarf has a small blotch.  I am getting a lot of blotches with indigo from the sediment and from the fabric popping above the surface.

I don't know what I am doing with walnut, really, since brown suits me very ill.  But other people like brown and the walnuts were gleaned.  Love gleaning.  I picked up some more black walnuts this week and dropped them in places around town right at the edge of trees and meadow where they will get light and space to grow.

It is interesting, having a company and thinking about fibre arts processes in terms of products that I could sell to other people.  People who might cross my palm with silver.  People whose taste may be very different from mine.  I am reading India Flint's book Eco Colour again, and this time I am thinking of doing some of the techniques.

If I dye some fibre walnut brown for spindle kits to put in my shop, I will only do one kit's worth because I really believe that un-dyed fibre is best for beginners.

silk dyed with black walnut

10 October, 2015

Spinning Wheel Post Earrings

spinning wheel earrings
 Am rather pleased with my self for turning wee sterling silver charms of spinning wheels into post earrings for the shop.  Didn't melt them to bits when soldering, hurray.  A couple of friends have promised to buy both pairs.   I am about to get more supplies and make additional pairs, it's just a matter of how many and what other charms to try as well.  You are welcome to let me know what you think, here or through Etsy.

03 October, 2015

Mordants, Discharges, and Resists

I am learning more about dyes and ways to use them with mordants, discharges, and resists which fix, remove, or resist colour.

I also went to a fibre festival and paid attention to what people were doing and saying.  It was interesting to see what was popular.

My roadside-gleaned walnuts are in the bag and waiting for me to get around to them.  So is a second vintage silk scarf in a pale print that would be improved with an over-dye of indigo.  Did I tell you about the first one?  I have two.