Tag Archives: Catalpa

The seeds sprout and the sun rises

Planting seeds… Every Spring as Nature awakens and comes back to life, seedlings are planted and seeds are sowed. Cause that’s how it goes. Cause that’s the way it is – standstill taking over the movement, and solution and breakthrough coming forward after the deadlock…

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Since we settled at #szaryganek a few years ago, I started another dyer’s garden right away. I planted several varieties of smoke bush, couple of catalpas, tamarisk, liquid amber, and two types of sumac in addition to what was already growing there. (Some of the new plants were presented by a friend visiting at that time. Evgenia, remember?) I also arranged madder root corner in the rear end of the garden. Needless to say, rubia tinctoria is a very important dye plant, although a young plant is not so good for dye extraction, you’ve got to wait 3 years until you harvest the first batch. This Spring I have been able to draw out a few root shoots to expand my madder plantation.

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Madder is one of the oldest dyestuffs. According to J.N. Liles, it extends back at least to 2000 b.c. In his book The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, 1990, you can find at least 10 recipes with madder root for color red. Wow, I’ve been always fascinated with madder dyeing potential, and also with its medicinal properties. At the same time, have to admit that traditional dyeing with madder has never become my thing. Maybe I am not ambitious enough…

However, enhancing the effects from leaf printing in contact dyeing with madder extract, on the contrary, has been serving me at its best from the very start. Back in those days, when an absolute newbie in botanical printing struggling to get leaf prints of decent visibility on fabric or paper, at the same time craving for eucalyptus foliage to appropriate for my studio experiments, (and eucalyptus itself had been a complete alien at the local florists) half in despair, I resolved to giving a break to squishing out wishful color from the foliage that had already proven void, and to taking an opposite approach of saturating a weak leaf with stronger potion.

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The thing is that in days of the past newborn babies were traditionally bathed in herba bidentis extract bath-water in view of its antibacterial etc. properties, clothes were also treated with the extract. I did bathe my child that way too. The extract should’ve been cooked every time fresh through a time consuming process, and no steps to be skipped whatsoever. And the results were magical… So, in my studio I gave the old method a go and treated those weak leaves to the dye stuff extract. And, yes, the leaves impregnated with stronger dye print immediately even before the heat is applied. This is a pic back from that time:

What a relief it was after so many failures! And throughout the years of my exploring botanical dyeing this method never stopped surprising.

But it’s Spring time, remember? Conditioning the stage for madder root expansion in the garden was not a big deal, in fact. However, my recent urge for setting a vegetable garden (the lockdown sequela) required way more engineering intense arrangements. First came five plastic boxes for vegetable beds – yes, yes, I know, plastic… But, hey, sometimes you just have to to make do with what you got. I didn’t like the idea of poking holes in the bottoms, I wanted to keep the boxes intact. So, I thought I would make a raised mesh bottom supported with fixed wire. Water is supposed to go underneath, and I added a tube for ventilation and also for watering:

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Next, I spreaded agrotextile to separate soil from the plastic walls, added some potting grit and soil.

It took me several hours to finish the construction stage. Planting and sowing took the next couple of days. However, after a period of nice weather we got the temperature dropping from +26C to +8C. Which now makes me really wonder if my efforts prove fruitful.

 

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P.S. Oh, did I mention that seeds were germinated in a plastic bottle? It is a very effective and low maintenance sprouting method. XOXO

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SecretsJealouslyGuarded, or the Jersey Dress Dyeing Session

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Hi, Guys!

Reading about the History of Textiles and learning about the role of professional Guilds in the Medeval society I came across with this notion:

jealously guarded dye recipes

and I just liked the words combination!

Anyway, I have given some thinking as to why I enjoy so much sharing my findings and results with like-minded persons? As to some reason for me it is the second amusement after the art making process itself. Why so?

Maybe, these findings and stuff coming free much like the Inspiration comes, and hence what is freely given should be shared the same way?

Have not yet come up with any firm idea as for that so far…

In the meanwhile I have some nice pics of the process and some determination to share my experience, if there is anybody wondering how I got that dress dyed!

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

and the process it turned out the way it is

First of all, the plant material I used for this dyeing session

Dry Cotinus Leaves

Dry Cotinus Leaves
Catalpa Leaves

Catalpa Leaves

Strawberry Leaves

Strawberry Leaves

 

The dry Cotinus leaves I gathered in the past November and kept all this time in a plastic bag, in a few bags actually. They seem to be doing well in plastic, so no need to bother and press them within a book, time and space saving!

The Catalpa leaves I gathered close to my house and pressed them in the magazine for a week or so before using. These definitely should be pressed flat and dried a bit before utilizing, much better colour yielding that way!

My mom’s strawberry leaves taken fresh from the plants.

Here it should be noted that everything was soaked in water the night before the dyeing session.

Plant Material

Plant Material

Some other plants/flowers were added the same day.

There are some Fern leaves ans Walnut leaves in the bucket and some Flowers.

Would you, please, excuse the lack of the flowers’ definition! 

I am sure the flowers are recognizable;

I’d only note that the orange ones are not much of an effect in terms of color and printing.

The Oak Barrel

The Oak Barrel

This is my Tannins Source, the oak barrel where I keep the water for some of my projects.

I did not use the tannin water for this project though.

Just wanted to show off  my barrel!

The Start

The Start

READY, SET, GO!

The Start

The Start

Feeling as usually the Uncertainty of the Starting Point!

As our dear colleague Pat Vivod has recently noted at her FB page ,

I can stare at things a LONG time before I take the plunge.

Thanks, Pat, it’s good to know I am not an exception in this regard!

The Materials

The Materials

A Note on the Process:

The Jersey Dress is 100% cotton and it’s been pretreated with Soy flower mixed with water about a month before the dyeing session.

The soaked plant material I spread out over a cloth to get rid of the extra moisture before further utilization.

 

The Leaves Drying

The Leaves Drying

I spent about 10 eggs for this project!

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

The plant material was subsequently dipped into the egg yolk and placed on the fabric.

I have to admit that after first 5 eggs I quit separating yolks, and was utilizing the whole egg!

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

This was one time consuming process, I’m telling you!

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

Laying out the Leaves

After all it was rolled over a copper pipe, simmered in the buckwheat shells dye bath at the temp 80C for about 1,5 hours.

Please, don’t ask why the buckwheat shells! I just happened to have a bag full of those and decided to give it a try…

Left outdoors for another 10-12 days.

And this is the result you may see:

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress

The Jersey Dress!

The Jersey Dress!

 

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Ревностно хранимые секреты красильщиков! – Или одно трикотажное платье в работе.

 

Всем доброго времени! Читая об истории Текстиля и роли профессиональных гильдий в средневековом обществе, я обнаружила следующее определение: «ревностно охраняемые рецепты крашения» – интересно.

Задумалась, отчего же мне так нравится делиться своими находками? Поняла,  со Средневековьем меня ничто не связывает.

 

Теперь о трикотажном платье.

 

На фото представлен весь процесс, в результате которого у меня получился такой дизайн поверхности.

 

Платье из х/б трикотажа;

Растительный материал: листья скумпии, катальпы, клубники;

 

Листья скумпии были засушены в прошлом ноябре, хранились в полиэтиленовом пакете; листья катальпы я собрала недалеко от дома за неделю до крашения и держала в книге; листья клубники – прямо с маминой грядки.

Весь растительный материал был замочен накануне вечером, кроме цветов. Отмечу, что от оранжевых цветов (текома) в результате толку было мало.

 

В ведре листья папоротника и грецкого ореха.

 

Надеюсь, все растения узнаваемы, и можно простить отсутствие лат. названий!

 

Дубовая бочка – мой источник насыщенной танинами воды!

 

Итак, все подготовлено, и можно начинать. Платье предварительно, за месяц, было обработано разведенной в воде соевой мукой. Замоченный растительный материал разложен на тряпке, чтобы удалить избыток воды, прежде чем окунать в яичный желток и раскладывать по поверхности платья. На все ушло 10 яиц, после первых 5-ти я отказалась отделять желтки и использовала все яйцо.

 

Весь процесс раскладывания листьев и складывания платья оказался очень длительным!

 

В конце концов, окончательная версия была накручена на упор в виде медной трубки и после этого тушилась в ванне из гречневой шелухи при t=80C около 1,5 ч. и в дальнейшем была выдержана 10-12 дней на воздухе.

 

Получившийся результат вы можете видеть!

 

 


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