At the end of week 7

From the studio on week 7.

I have had a wonderful week that included a visit from my daughter Helen. She arrived on Monday afternoon and left early on Thursday. We played tourist on Monday afternoon and Wednesday. It was great having her here. She’s in this week’s photo from outside the studio.

Helen and Sina at Fitzroy Falls

We played tourist for one day. The sun was shining but it was cold! Sina came along with us for a girl’s day of exploring. We drove through spectacular scenery to the coast and then home again though more spectacular scenery.

I was the only one brave enough to put a toe in the water.

In addition I have got some work done. I have continued exploring dye recipes. In particular I am keen to investigate how natural dyes and synthetic can be used together. The piece of “ginger” finally got overdyed. The rest is quite pleasing. As previously stated, it had been dyed using wood shavings and one of the silver dollars with not very inspired results. I overdyed it using a variation of the procion dyes. The process involved soaking it in a soda solution overnight, painting on dissolved dye and allowing it to dry without wrapping in plastic. There was very little dye lost. The soda did form a white crust while it dried though which tended to become powder when the ties were being removed. While the result is good, I didn’t really appreciate the undoing from a health perspective. Potentially the same result could have been achieved with a different recipe.

The "ginger" untied.

In continuation of the work that I’ve been doing with natural dyes, I decided that for the next dye project, I would use a different angle. This time I used the silver dollar tree that is behind the cottage. Instead of harvesting the leaves though, I wrapped the tree, carefully pushing the fabric into the bark and binding it in place. Then I mixed up some procion and poured/painted it onto the tree. The result is “interesting” with patches of white and some quite interesting colour markings. I think the train of thought behind the piece is much more interesting than the result though. Next I am intending on overdyeing using the actual leaves in a dyebath. That will take it full circle.

Wrapping the tree

Pouring dye on

The fabric at the end of stage 2.

I am now well over halfway on the first piece of doubleweave circles and have begun weaving a set of 3 scarves that will be used to experiment with different dye/discharge recipes. It’s great to have the opportunity to play and evaluate the different processes. Having a day off from the intensity of the circles seemed like a good idea.

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