Do As I Say, Not As I Do!

As much as I know I should document all of my processes, it’s only likely to happen once in a blue moon!  I wish I was better at it but I’m not.  SO, I guesstimate a lot and have some idea of what works and what doesn’t but I can’t always so with certainty what I did.  Oh well, here goes!

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Cotton; mordanted in alum sulfate, ferrous sulfate and copper.  Some leaves dipped in vinegar, some in calcium carbonate. Even though the eucalyptus was soaked in vinegar, the alum turned it yellow instead of orange. Is it vinegar that made the Japanese Maples blue-green?  I’m not sure.

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In this case, I was after an all-over print. I made a lot of these; eco-prints don’t play well with commercial fabrics so you really need to make your own “blender” fabrics if you’re using them for textile art. I used the same mordant for this as above, although it has multiple layers and some rusted can lids in there, which required vinegar at some point.

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Same batch of mordant as you can see in the very yellow birch leaves..  But the darker colors in the sumac as well as those dots which are actually red sumac heads, are being influenced by the iron in the mordant.

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OK, now you can actually see the difference a new batch of mordant made.  This time it’s sodium acetate, ferrous sulfate and copper sulfate.The yellows are toned down and some other colors are showing up.  The Japanese Maples now show up as pink.

IMGP0619 copy Again the sodium acetate recipe and the all-over print that turned out to be quite painterly, if I say so myself. It’s the largest piece and it may just end up as a wholecloth quilt. Hmmm….

That wasn’t so bad now was it?  Now, I do know that in some of these I dipped or soaked the leaves in chalk but I’m not really sure which ones.  Also, some of these may also have been previously mordanted with soy milk, but I do not recall which ones. It does look like I used chalk only in the bottom two, though.  It doesn’t really matter to me at this point, but it might in the future, so I am hoping to document more, so do as I say, not as I do and you’ll be better off.

I want to add to this week’s post a recommendation for some books that I have been using as I go along on this learning endeavor.

A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America (Peterson Field Guides).

Peterson’s Eastern Trees Field Guide 

Jenny Dean’s Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

India Flint’s  Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles

Now, thanks for joining me and let’s go see what Nina Marie is up to this week at Off The Wall Friday.

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