Monday, August 31, 2009

Water Colour Flowers and Fibre

My friend Jo came to visit me the other day bringing with her a little plastic bag of a few dark purple pansy flowers that she had put into her freezer...turning them into ice flowers.
She showed me how to put the petals into a little muslin bag and then dipping the bag into a jar of warm water and squeezing the iced flowers gently until their purple colour is released into the water.
This process produced a beautiful result...bright inky purple dye.
I quickly unwound a couple of balls of was a white ball of kidsilk haze that I had left over from a baby shawl. I poured the water from the jar into two plastic containers adding a few drops of white vinegar to one and then adding a tiny amount of strained woodash to the other, and the water in each container changed colour immediately.
I immersed the wool into the containers and left them overnight to soak up the dye...and this is what I had the next day.

The green kidsilk haze was from the container with the tiny amount of woodash and the lavender was from the container with the vinegar.

Jo and I had both learnt to do this from the Eco Colour Workshop that we attended a few months ago, with India Flint. Jo has been regularly honing her skills and experimenting with colour and different plants and producing some wonderful results especially with lengths of silks.

I have not been so productive, but am well and truly hooked now, especially with all this Spring growth in the garden.

There was a storm yesterday and rain poured down continuously. It was the perfect day for creating lots of steamy, smelly dyepots. Jo arrived with a stove top, large dyepots and stirring spoons and I went outside and collected a mix of diffferent plants from the garden. I chose wallflowers, buddlia, red silverbeet and oxalis flowers (of which I had pleased I was that I hadn't weeded them all away last week.)

So we cooked up a marvellous brew and these are what I have to show today.

I have a pillowcase stuffed full of three and four ply baby wool, all in typical baby wool know don't you...aqua, lemon, pink and blue and white and I am going to redye all of them using these plant dyes.

Cheerio for now, I am off to stock up on purple pansy seeds !


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely amazing!

BellaBree said...

u are sooooo clever! I love, love, love the colours!

Anonymous said...

wow - that sounds like a very satisfying and fun way to spend time with a friend. Have you tried beetroot? you have to put in through a juicer to extract the liquid. The intense pinky violet colour is just fab! We use it to make cup cake icing - with lemon juice to counteract the slightly earthy taste - but I think I will try yarn instead next. hope to see you soon, K