Notions-Drye Goods Studio Diary

Thanks for checking in. I am a fiber artist. My current emphasis is on eco printing and other wildcraft with a touch of up-cycling thrown in. You can also catch up with me on Facebook at Drye Goods Studio.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Color Red

I came across a writing prompt that said to pick a color and watch for it all day, then write about it. Since this is the season of commerce (places you can catch up with me are at the end of this post) and not much in the way of creating in the studio goes on, writing will have to do. I have to make something every day or I get crabby.

A woman was standing in my booth one time and ask me what was the hardest color to obtain. Since I don't really think about what I do in those terms, it kind of took me by surprise, but after a quick glance around I said "Well, if you take a look there isn't much in the way of red, in fact, no red at all." At that point I explained that while there were several options in natural dyes to obtain red, not many of them grow around here. For the most part I limit myself to what is available in the area, I figure I have already used up my carbon allotment by working on imported silk and then I also avoid dealing with the question of how a given dye stuff was harvested and shipped. Madder root, a traditional dye plant, is considered hardy to zone 5 so in the right position in the yard it would probably grow here, but it is a pretty big commitment. If it gets going it has to be in a raised bed as it can be invasive and it takes at least two years for the acid in the roots to be strong enough to make the dye, three to four years is better. Since actual whole cloth dyeing is not really my thing, it seems like a lot of work. We have its obnoxious little relative here, Lady's Bedstraw, that to my understanding will make some sort of a pink. Considering how invasive this naturally occurring plant is in the garden, you would think I would be all over it. Trying to find its roots however, is pretty challenging. They are very fine and you end up plowing up an entire garden plot just to finally get enough to work with. I decided it was just better to rip the plants off the top and dry them for a tea that is supposed to ward off kidney stones, a malady I hope I never get again, so I am willing to do about anything.  

Here is the red I saw in the last couple of days. Eastern Washington has entered the gray time of year. The sky is very often gray with fog, and unless there is snow, the ground gets gray and muddy as well. It gets dark early, Google informs me that sunset will be at 4:21 PM today. Red pops out.

Hawthorn leaf in a pile of cherry leaves

Hawthorn berries that will be picked off by the birds all winter

Mountain cranberries, also bird food.

As I was walking across the yard I thought I saw a bright red piece of fabric stuck in the border garden. It was this little rose bush putting out its last effort for the year! I was so surprised as we have had some really cold nights already, I guess it just had one more thing to say.
Anyway, you can catch up with me in at the following shows, and of course my work is always at Pottery Place Plus, 203 N Washington, Spokane, WA

Tonight I will have jewelry and scarves at The Inland Empire Gardeners' monthly meeting at Centerplace 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley WA. The market runs from 6-7 PM, meeting starts at 7:00

The Spokane Women's Club 5th Annual Artisans and Crafters Show, 1428 W 9th Ave. Spokane, Wa This Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-4

Custer's Christmas Arts and Crafts Show
Spokane Fair and Expo Center 404 N Havana St, Spokane Valley, WA
November 16th-18th Friday 10-8; Saturday 9-6; Sunday 10-4

Urban Art Cooperative's Holiday Market
3209 N Monroe, Spokane, WA
November 30th-December 2nd
Friday preview 6-9; Saturday 10-6; Sunday 10-4

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