Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Blues Two Weeks Later

Two weeks ago I began my 1st experiment using natural dyes, see here.
This morning the jars of fermenting iris water revealed their true colors.
Keep in mind
I did not use a pre-mordant (since I didn't have any on hand, and I was eager to just Do It!)
Das Results:

After 2 weeks.
Jar on Right contains Iris flowers without any brown fading bits from the plant 
Jar on Left contains both fresh and fading Iris flowers.
 Silk "After"
Right is result of silk submerged in Iris flower water without brown faded bits from the plant

 Left is silk submerged in both fresh and fading Iris flowers.

I can only presume that by including faded flowers to the dye water caused the lack a resulting blue/purple color. It's a nice grey. I'll use that piece to overdye with other plant materials later.
The experiments continued
India Flint suggested that I try "ice flower" dyeing. 
The following pictures tell a story of that experiment.

Frozen Iris flowers
Frozen flowers covered with water
Silk Before
 Next I decided to overdye the Iris "ice flower"silk using frozen Rhododendron 'Roseum Elegans'
The Rhododendron flowers created a pale yellow and diffused the previous darker blue/purple marks.



  1. I have been wanting to experiment with natural dyes too. I am encouraged to know that you did not follow all the preparation rules. I spent a small fortune on India's beautiful book - not because the book was expensive but because the postage was out of this world! I love it; it is worth every penny!

    I just visited George Mauersberger's website. He is your ..... brother? husband? father? uncle? ??? His drawings are fabulous. Wow! I have already sent the link on to friends.

    I do enjoy your blog very much. :-)

  2. Hi Morna,
    I'm glad you got Indias book. I purchased through Amazon, for under $35.00, hope you didn't pay more than that!
    I do know that I need to use a mordant and will start that process after I attend her workshop at Shakerag (June 20-25)

    George is my lovely husband. Thank you for looking and suggesting to others. He is a professor of art at Cleveland State University and currently heads the art dept.

    Feel free to share your experiments with me.

  3. Hi, Christine. I bought Eco Colour for $58 + $28 Shipping for a grand total of $86 !!!!! Ouch! This was in July of 2008. Maybe that was the only way it was available initially. I shouldn't be so foolish with $$$, but it is a wonderful book.

    How fabulous for you that you will attend her workshop. Where?

  4. Morna,
    I'll be attending her workshop at Shakerag in Sewanee, TN.


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