Several weeks ago, I wrapped a good few rusty items in reclaimed white linen and cotton pieces, stuck them in a Jacobs Crackers plastic container and put it outside in a small plastic sheet greenhouse thing, that Id bought early this year to bring seeds on in............lol well, its great for storing smelly stuff outdoors in, but did me no real good at raising plants from seed...( well it wouldnt if you forget to water them .......lol)And thats the point I forgot Id put the fabric out there too.... so this is what I found and in folding them I have somehow managed to create a sort of brick like, wall pattern, can you see it?
Well, want to bet I cant recreate this effect ? lol
But I love the colours and think it may have a great deal to do with the fact that I had run out of vinegar, so used my balsamic vinegar as a bath solution, must try this again!
These have been washed by hand so were even richer and darker before, am thrilled with the way these have turned out!
A couple of folk have asked me where I found my recipes for natural dyeing, and if I was actually using a recipe as such!
Well, before buying India Flints Eco Dyeing book, ( brilliant!) I winged it,
but had read alot of other blogs and picked some ideas from online searches, so please do the same, theres loads out there thats of great use!
I became fascinated by reading http://gerdiary.blogspot/ and theres a recent item about chokeberries which Id read about elsewhere but had no idea what they were.
Now theres a picture featured here http://gerdiary.blogspot/2010/10/berry-storyhtml
and I reckon the chokeberry is our UK SLOE berry! And yes it would choke you cos it tastes bloody awful raw, even if ripe!
It does make for fabulous pink sloe gin though if your into making your own wines and alcohols.
Now is the time to find sloes in our hedgerows, but dont take all thats ona tree in the wild, think of the wildlife thats counting on it for their winter meals please.
But here are afew more links you might finhd interestine to browse through
and this site has a great list you can download of plants to dye with, giving you an idea of what colours you might achieve. I say might achieve because India Flint makes it plain, that you can dye with leaves off a tree one day and get one colour, then try the same trees leaves another day, with or without a different mordant and get an altogether different colour!
Real serendipity that to me! Althougth if your trying to match the first colour I bet its infuriating lol
And heres some other sites with info.......
An interesting rust technique explanation on a may blog entry there too.
Now theres enough there to whet your appetite.
Im hooked but Im buying in white linen, cotton etc charity shop blouses, skirts, that kind of thing, that has tucked cuffs, pleated bits, textured fabrics, so the small pieces Im dyeing will have added interest to them?
And I will be using them collage like, small pieces on other small pieces I think.
Which brings me to my best pal who lives in Perth Oz, telling me the other day that she had known me all these years and hadnt realised Id been into archeology. Her brother and sister in law go each year to Jordan to dig there, how fabulous would that be!
Well her comment made me think and below is my reply to her and I saved it to put here because I hadnt really given it thought before, but it sprang in to my mind and I realised it says much about me and my thinking processes....................and the fact that I hadnt expressed it in words before, also says much about me lolol
What I find fascinating is the fact that we have built layers of civilisation, upon all those previous layers of societies and peoples lives?
What you see today is society laid on the top of thousands of years of former lives, where folk have lived, loved, lost and passed on? Our crops in fields now hide the foundations of round houses, villages from times long gone, but there had been living breathing people with hopes and dreams like we have, treading the earth all those years ago, and here we are now. Yet we are still simply another layer, to be laid on the earth and to be laid upon by others in years to come.
We can pick up shards of the past on beaches, and along the river Humber's bank, be it old chemists glass bottles or prehistoric wood pieces or pieces of aircraft metal in a field at Holmpton and its like reaching back, touching fingers with forbears, be they ours or not.
This layering of lives runs through some of my pieces of textile work I realise too.
My mermaid swimming undersea with the driftwood frame( must finish glueing driftwood to it! ), swims past columns and clay urns from a Greek culture ( made with polymer clay).
My layered landscapes have stones and treasures buried within the layers of fabrics.
My trees always have something tucked within the roots, vintage beads or a mother of pearl button from days gone by maybe.
Infact if I were to say what leads my textile interest, its still to do with this layering of peoples lives, using fabrics from a time past, be it victorian silks, 1960s seersucker or a 1950s button, I guess Im reaching out to touch those that have gone before me, out of respect that they lived and died, knowing I am destined to go that same way.
Oh and this last comment expresses my disapointment having been doing research for things to go in the Topic Boxes Im making up for out visually impaired kids to use in class.
Id done a brailled piece about women pirates and found the story of Alvilda, a Danish Princess who escaped her family and joined a cross dressing crew of pirate women. She terrorised the baltic sea and when arrested was recognised by Prince Alf and she was so impressed by his fighting that she married him, ( well it beat being killed for piracy I reckon!) and became Queen of Denmark!!
Am disapointed to say that Alvilda the cross dressing pirate seems to be a legend tale from viking stories...........am gutted, thought she was feminism before its time lolol
Seems sucha great story but is it likely to be as believeable as the Viking epic about Beowolf?
Probably not it appears!!