At the end of week 10

 From the studio week 10

The view from the studio. When is that tree going to lose all its red leaves? There’s very little change.

I arrived back at Sturt after a very full weekend in Brisbane raring to go. It has been a very mild week with much happening in the garden. There’s also been much happening in the studio.

 I decided to “open” the studio to outside visitors when classes weren’t in progress and to also open the studio so that students can come at any time. The studio has been humming. We’ve had a constant stream of very interested visitors and the studio has had more than one student in each day. In fact it was nearly a party atmosphere on Thursday. It is a very exciting place to be.

Proteas above the fire place

Judy, one of the Tuesday ladies, maintains a beautiful bunch of proteas on the shelf above the fireplace. There has always been a  bunch since I arrived.

I have had a productive week and have also done some serious “playing”. The doubleweave circles continue to grow. It will be great to finish them. I’ve also done a run of 3 scarves, bumping my knee on the loom for most lifts. This warp had been dyed several weeks earlier using a variation of a procion dyebath. After I had dressed the loom, I discovered that it was made for short legged weavers. I just don’t fit into that category! I did manage to get them done in the one day though and was very pleased to see the end of them.

Two rayon chenille scarves

I did the last dyeing over the red fabric that I’d dyed using commercial dyes on the wrapped “Silver Dollar” tree which is really “Argyle Apple”. I completed the final stage in the circle over dyeing with its leaves. I managed to get a reasonably deep tan using an alum/tannin mordant and am reasonably satisfied with the result.

Argyle Apple fabric.

Inspired by the open fireplace, I continue to explore burning the silk/stainless steel bookmarks. This time instead of burning the fold edges, I put the folded bookmark’s edges in a flame proofing mix. I remembered that a treatment could be applied to cloth that would inhibit burning from my textile teaching days, many years ago. It took some digging to locate the formula in an old textile text book. It involves the use of borax and boric acid. I’ll put the recipes in a separate page. I was sceptical whether it would work. The first test where I folded and held the bookmark in the brew, worked but as I hadn’t performed an absolute resist I was not totally convinced. The second one involved the use of a clamp and immersion into the brew. As I put it in the candle, I could see that these areas didn’t burn. I wouldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t burn in a proper fire though!

Burning the bookmark

The two bookmarks

The top bookmark shows portions of unburnt fold lines. This one was held and emmersed into the “brew” and as a result the resist wasn’t totally effective.

The bottom bookmark was clamped and then emmersed resulting in very clearly defined negative space where the flame retardant chemical didn’t access.


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