Friday, 30 December 2011

New Year's Wishes

   I am wishing to all
   the joy to explore nature
   the patience to see it
   the heart to feel it
   the peace to breathe it
   the health to touch it
   the courage to embrace it
   and the desire to protect it.

   May peace be with you and our planet this new year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Take two

So back to the drawing board, post que sera sera, I still had to begin again for my custom order. During this time the olive dress has found a home and is jetting off to Spain, with a pretty appropriate name for such a jaunt!

 Second time around, I did go to the beach and do the big soak in preparation for the dyeing. Then dried, then dipped in milk and dried. Finally came the eucalyptus dyebath, which tended to look like a milk tea in a saucepan. Did the trick though and the final colour was what I was aiming for. Only hicup with this mordancing is the odor of milk that requires a good vinegar soak after several washes with olive oil soap, as its an odor that is not the easiest to remove. A good scan on the net led me to the vinegar soak, which will perhaps need to be repeated again. I think I'll try the soy milk option next time I need to dye cellulose fibres.

 Reversible cotton muslin and silk nuno felt dress.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Que sera sera continued....

Well finally I went for the "if you can't beat it, join it" attitude and threw rust into the whole prepared dye pot. Call me a conformist, but I wanted a harmonised colour. It turned into a wonderful olive green, totally unplanned, but what's life if not a surprise?

Monday, 5 December 2011

que sera sera

Ive spent my week making another dress for a custom order. This one needed to be dyed at the end, so was to transform from white to a eucalyptus golden tone. Fairly simple colour to achieve, only complication is the dress is a mixture of muslin cotton, silk and wool. the later two dye very easily, the former with a needed mordant. ok, out with the notebook of dyeing tricks. did my mordant of alum and washing soda, simmered for one hour then left in solution overnight. fine. went to bed.
next morning after dropping kids at school, returned to my reward of coffee (for getting through breakfast madness), ready for a ripper day of dyeing. 

Disaster, at least for my intentions of a one toned dress. i know India Flint would a) have used sea water and milk or such, but b) would not be phased by 'accidental' creative variations. but alas, i must be far more anal than my guru. sigh.
my pot (stainless steel and new) seems to have freaked with the mixture and developed rust overnight. brilliant. not what you want when dipping into eucalyptus dye, unless you want greys to be your result. so i tried the lemon and salt rust removal method. i tried the washing detergent method. i tried and i tried and i tried. sigh. finally after rincing it all out, i had infact created an amazing mixture of mordants on my white dress, full of huge potential of unknowns. i asked myself, ok , what do i do now? this is not at all going to be what was planned. finally i sang doris day in my head 'que sera sera' and threw it into the steaming pot.

and then whilst holding breath, i watched what i expected. tones, lots of tones, but instead of grey, they were browns. dark brown, mid, gold. really bark like. for a eucalyptus mad girl, this was very interesting. but will the client like it? that is the unknown. but panicing wont help, right?

meanwhile, i went back to my work table to find that it had become a spectator sport, this natural dyeing.

and truely too interesting to not get involved. yep, thats our wildlife in sydney, goofy, naughty but very endearing (unless ripping your window frames apart) 'cockies'.

to be continued....