Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do you Kudzu?

Kudzu printing part II
I posted about what I did with the ubiquitous plant called Kudzu and a silk robe while taking a class with India Flint at Shakerag last week.
see here
I wrapped the silk robe/kudzu leaf package around a stick, and bound it with a strong cotton string and left it in a pot of water, brought to the boil (slightly) and left to cool.
These pictures show the progression:

I cannot get over the level of detail that transferred to the silk!
Kudzu and Eucalyptus
A piece of habotai silk dyed with both kudzu leaves and eucalyptus
(I don't know which variety of eucalypt this leave was but you've probably seen it at the local florist)
The kudzu leaves made a beautiful green while the eucalypt presented a lovely orange.
If you live in the southern United States, I envy your access to the Kudzu plant. Perhaps we've found a way to eradicate its nasty invasive growth (up to 12" a day!) on the landscape of the South. 
We can remove it without the use of toxic chemicals and create striking patterns with the leaves on fabric. 

Please see India's blog to see more eco-dye we created in her workshop last week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blue skies make me blue

One last dye today before we say goodbye to bucolic Shakerag
Elixir of the windfall gods

The big reveal is yet to come
Working to complete several projects
I think you'll love the results
stay tuned and be well

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tight is Right

Tight is good

Bundles of pre-felt, silk and local floral wrapped tightly around a stick will produced the best results.

Achievement of the day:
As we opened a bottle of wine at 3:00 pm, we were criticized for opening wine too early in the day by a French woman.
If you can manage to be told that you drink too much by a French woman, you know you're having a good time.
We consider this the achievement of the week.

Still Waters and a silk robe

Sewanee, TN, USA
Whilest at Shakerag 
I'm hiking each morning
Walking around a small lake
And stuffing leaves in silk to dye

This is Kudzu , an invasive plant species 
This is what I did with it today:
More later

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You already have the gold coins beneath you

My dining table this afternoon post lunch
Picture of my dining table today after having lunch today with my good friend Mary Beth who was back in town from Germany, her mother and my mom. 
I love to eat and to cook and to bake. 
Those are homemade meringues that I served this way: smashed into real whipped cream and smothered in chunks of fresh strawberries. It's called Eton Mess courtesy Design Sponge
Have you ever seen such glorious white roses? 
Mary Beth presented me with these beauties.
It's grand to reunite with friends.
Next week I'll reunited with several lovely women I met last year.
We'll be eating good food and 
walking in the the woods 
dyeing silk with natural materials
hand stitching
perhaps some felting?

Days like these remind me of the how good life is I hope you find time for yourself.

Thank you for reading my blog and for making comments to connect with me and others. 

You already have the gold coins beneath you, of presence, creativity, intimacy, time for wonder, and nature, and life.
Read more here.
Credit to my friend Christy  for pointing me this link written by Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird. 

I'll be back in a week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Earth Day Prints

Wanderlust Gallery 
I have a bit of wanderlust.
don't you?

Wanderlust is located in Sheffield, UK. They work with over 50 talented artists and designers from New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Sau Paulo… this list goes on.
50 percent of each print sold is donated to charity. Good cause.
See more here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Lies Beneath?

Phyllis Galembo
Photography Professor
University at Albany, State University of New York

Phyllis Galembo, Egungun, Bohican, Benin, 2006, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches
Phyllis Galembo, Atam Masquerader, Alok Village, Nigeria, 2004, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches
Phyllis Galembo, Ngar Ball Traditional Masquerade Dance, Cross River, Nigeria, 2004, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches
Phyllis Galembo, Panther Masquerade, Samaga Village, Burkina Faso, 2006, Ilfochrome, 30 x 30 inches
All images via Tang Museum
These large scale photographs were exhibited at the Tang Museum in 2007. 
I could not decide which images to show you so I selected only 4. She has many many more here and here.

Too blown away for words.

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.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Makiko Wakisaka

Makiko Wakisaka

Thanks to Connecticut fiber artist, Morna Crites-Moore, for pointing me to the artwork of  Makiko Wakisaka.
This piece looks eerily similar to the nests made by Turkish Bees.

Exhibited in Asia Fiberart Exhibition, miniature,
Fukuoka, Japan, 2001


Chrysalis, detail

Cocoon, detail
I fondly recall seeing Cocoon at the 2007 Pfaff Embroidery Challenge in London, U.K.
Small world!
Thanks Morna!
See more of Makiko's artwork here and here

I like the detail image of this piece called Cell
All images via Makiko's Flicker page