Madder, walnut and osage dyed merino feltI attended a lecture by Catherine Ellis on Tuesday and could barely sit still in my seat. Just to hear those enchanted words...indigo...madder...dyes of antiquity... makes my heart race. And another thing she mentioned - how she started working with natural dyes about 10 years ago when she retired from teaching and found it wonderful to know that one can still become so excited about learning even at a "later" age. My feelings exactly!
|Felt in the osage orange dyepot|
One of my new challenges with the natural dyes was to see if I could use my knowledge with resist dyeing to create those seductive patterns on the surface. I am finding that each one of the natural dyes I try out - be it an extract or made by me from the root/hulls/dyestuff itself, each dye has a personality. Each one has such different ways it colors the wool. Walnut manages to sneak under even the tightest of knots. My former resist tool favorite - hair pins from Sally Beauty Shops - cause interesting iron stains on madder and brazilwood if the alkali is higher in the dyepot but no reactions with the gentle Lac. I swear these dyes are alive. Well, really they are, coming to me as gifts from Helen's Walnut trees, or squished and extract by human hands in France. I don't think I could be happier with these new friends.
|resist dyed with lac, madder and osage|
|Walnut Pages:One. "Peeling Walnuts under October Sun". Walnut dyed, hand felted merino felt, cherry tree sticks, beaded, stitched (and sideways)|
|but first a little time with my best pal, leon|