book arts, dyeing, fiber art, Slow cloth

Labor Play Day

I’m busy busy busy with my Ceramics III class, but I have taken a little time to do some natural dyeing.

Last Sunday, Sandy and I found a vacant lot with lots of goldenrod blooming. I tore blisters on my hands harvesting it so there’s a lesson for me, but I couldn’t wait to go home to get gloves and clippers. I did one dyepot with just the flowers and one with just the leaves. The flowers gave a bright goldenrod color and the leaves gave a nice green. I did a bit of overdyeing too.

I got more dye out of these than I had time to use and the brew got pretty putrid. I mixed them together, and added black walnuts this weekend.

Susanne came over yesterday and we tied up some bundles to go in the brew and a straight black walnut dyepot. (The smell of the brew improved after I boiled the black walnuts in it.) Susanne concentrated on dyeing paper and she was experimenting with trying to get prints off some small metal objects. She had some success but she and I were on different pages on what we were trying to accomplish. I think that she’ll do better with sun printing objects using this method.

I was thrilled to get the red eucalyptus prints I’ve been wanting by steaming some fresh eucalyptus sprigs in a silk sleeve. Will definitely do more of this. As you can see, Susanne’s handmade corn husk paper took the dye beautifully. This one was folded and dipped in the black walnut dye and then bundled and steamed with some plant leaves tucked into the pages, including eucalyptus.

Susanne’s big success was this luscious cotton paper, bundled and left in the black walnut dyepot overnight.

Now she wants to do more cloth and I want to do more paper – we really do complement each other!

Oh yeah, and I have a lot of really strong black walnut dye left, so I’ve poured some into jars and I’m putting them in the little fridge in the back. The silk yarn skein I dyed in the brew came out a gorgeous dark brown so I’m going to tie up some more skeins to dye in the rest. And I have three more cloth pieces coming out of the washer and dryer now that I’m very pleased with – but I’m tired of being on the computer and will post photos later.

4 thoughts on “Labor Play Day”

  1. These look beautiful – such rich colors. Worth getting the hands torn up over the goldenrod! My husband and I love NC – we were there in December, and I’m dying to come back sometime soon. I just started following your blog, Laurie – very enjoyable! 🙂


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