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.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

ORANGE! (In a good way!)

 A few weeks ago I posted the start of an experiment with padauk sawdust my husband gave me-and here is the result!

The top is an overdye of an eco printed piece of silk crepe that I had done a "re-mordant" (is that a thing?) with alum; the next one down is silk twill that had a faint yellow dye on it (my guess would be tansy flower dye) to start with and thus some alum; the redish one is an overdye of an eco print on crepe with no additional mordant, just straight into the dye pot with it, and the vivid one at the bottom is another piece of silk twill that had an alum mordant applied. 

This is eco printed paper, front and back of the same piece. I have taken to keeping the "so-so" paper prints in a stack off to the side for "spent" dye baths. This particular paper was printed with poinsettia so the paper had alum applied before printing. I tossed it into the warmish padauk dye when I was all done and promptly forgot about it. So, imagine my surprise when I hauled the dye pot out to the compost pile and the last thing to come out of the pot was this piece of paper! It had sat in the dye so long it had sunk to the bottom.

I have another batch of sawdust soaking in vodka for another round of samples. This time I want to fiddle with the ph of the dye bath to see if I can get more of a red. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

"Sketch" Books

 " What is possible in art becomes thinkable in life."

Brian Eno

Tiny books

I did some samples with the padauk sawdust I had soaking today, and of course ideas lead to other ideas, so I am not quite done with that in order to do a post. But if it weren't for these little books I might never have started the whole process. I have been reading Sketchbook Explorations by Shelley Rhodes and am really inspired by it. When I used to make a lot of clothing I doodled ideas down on random slips of paper, but never really kept a sketchbook. Shelley takes so many approaches to a sketchbook, it is hard to pick something and get started! I have had these little books forever, I can't even remember where they came from. I liked the way they looked so much, just as they were, that they became too precious and I was afraid I would "mess them up" somehow. It's a sketchbook for crying out loud-use it!

They are about four inches square, the covers are heavy pasteboard, like a children's book. They are held together with gunmetal gray binder clips. The first thing to do was to take the original papers out of them. I started with the one in the center. The paper was bonded, or had some sort of finish on it, so when I dipped it in that kind of sheen that is on the top of indigo dye it ended up looking like marbling. The one in the center back is a mixture of the original paper and watercolor paper. All the pinks, blues, and purples come from hibiscus tea. The more yellow looking paper is the original paper in the book. Both were allowed to soak in the tea and as you can see, the watercolor paper "dyed" and the tea tended to puddle on the original paper. The tea changed color, from pink to blue and purple, as it dried. The other two books are all eco printed papers. The brighter on the left is poinsettia. The one on the right is the more interesting parts of some ho-hum eco prints that I cut to size. As you can see in the two center books I used hole punches and stamps on the pages. I haven't decided what the next step is for the eco printed ones.

There is no pressure with this-they aren't "for" anything. Working in layers and letting something from underneath show through pleases me. I also liked machine stitching on the paper and may do more of that, or some hand stitching-we will see. These little projects lead to bigger projects.

Anyway, just letting you know that the results of the sawdust dye are on the way and I had hoped to post those the next time, but now I am soaking more sawdust as I want to try a different approach to the mordant.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Seeing Red

 "If I could tell you about Red

I would sing to you of fire

Sweet like cherries

Burning like cinnamon

Smelling like a rose in the sun"

Dixie Dawn Miller Goode, Rainbows Around Us: A Celebration of Color

I started an experiment with Padauk saw dust my husband saved for me. After some digging around on the internet, I did find several sets of instructions, but not much on how permanent the final color will be. So we'll just have to see what happens.

Here is the sawdust.

This is the type of pigment that has to be soaked out in alcohol, so here is about a cup of sawdust soaking in about two cups of vodka. It was such a beautiful day today I had to run the jar outside to give you the full effect. Most instructions said to let it set for a week or more, so I will be getting some small pieces of silk ready to dye later this week.

Padauk (pterocarpus) is the bright red strip in this cutting board my husband made. The tree is native to the African continent and is also called mukwa or narra.  

I will have several experiments going while waiting for the local leaves to appear. Somebody gave me some alkanet, which I think I left in the cabinet after I discovered that it will pretty much fade with exposure to air, much more so with sun etc. But, impermanence being the way of all things I decided that it would be fun to play with, I have some older scarves of my own that might like to be purple! When and if they fade, maybe they will want to be some other color at that point. I also have a bag of avocado pits going in the freezer, I am never sure how many it takes, but I have some paper and lace just waiting to that lovely shade of pink avocado pits can produce.