Webbed Moon

Also in the shop, this commercially dyed thread hand embroidery is on indigo dyed cottons.

One more to finish!

But i have been sampling too on other work, and ideas are pouring forth.

You’ll have to use your imagination to see what *i* “see” with this one 🙂

 

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a natural moon

I’ve been slowly (and not so diligently, as other pursuits in the studio have “interfered”) working on this indigo moon, using my newly dyed naturally dyed threads. This is a lesson in itself, as the indigo i’m working on is strong enough to overshadow certain colours, necessitating some more neutral backgrounds for future plans/use.

 

The moon is worked with cotton, silk, silk/wool blend and wool threads in cochineal, osage, logwood, and privet berries, with the brown of the seeds coming from potassium permanganate (actually an inorganic compound). I found a walnut bath i had stored several years ago, when i was setting up in the basement, and shall test to see if it’s still “live”, for some of my browns in future, though i do love all the permutations the PP gave on the skein of cotton. On the background surround, in cotton, silk, wool and silk/wool, the colours i used are privet berry, cochineal, brazilwood, rhubarb root, hollyhock (and that’s where the “oh-oh” happened, as some of the colours are so soft, they are barely discernible), osage, logwood, and sandalwood. Using pre-mordanting (VERY important), and post modifying methods, changes the colours to a wide range. (Ha, just realized i used none of the wonderful madder results!)

I have two other moons still in the finishing stages, and hope to get them done soon too! All will be in the shop.

 

 

immersion therapy

Autumn is my favourite season, with its deeply rich colours and the spicy smell of earth, falling leaf and seed. It’s also the start of SAD time, something i struggle deeply with every year. I know all the coping mechanisms well, and follow most of them ( and sometimes they work, or don’t……), but this year, seem to have been helped muchly by my intense self-workshopping on natural dyes. I *do* tend to get obsessive about things, and this is no exception, but the results from it have been most gratifying.

My brain has benefited from all the science lessons, my focus by the procedural steps that it necessitates, and my soul heartened by the results. Instead of sitting on the couch staring at the walls, or visiting the kitchen too often, i’m up and about between studio, dye dungeon and sketch/notebook.

As i’ve been dyeing the threads, i’ve also been stitching with them, and this is the result.

All natural dyes (except that one brown from “PP”), it’s almost finished. Silk, silk/wool, wool and cotton threads, and all the dyes i can get my hoofies on, on indigo dyed cotton, i can’t wait to finish this and mount on a canvas!

 

 

a new moon

This one is particularly satisfying–99% natural dyes!

The first section is osage and cochineal on cotton,

centre section is privet berries on silk and potassium permanganate on cotton (technically an inorganic chemical dye…)

and third section is three flavours of cochineal and logwood on wool, silk, and silk/wool blend, all on a background of indigo on cotton. (And yes, i am fully aware there are natural substances for browns, but i happen to like the permutations of “potperm”, and i have none of the naturals at the moment.)

And i just realized, that as usual my photos are mislabelled…….left and right always confuse me………..these are portrayed in the correct order above, but the orientation in the file name is reversed!

I have only to add a few more milkweed seeds to the centre, and then i can finish the whole.

 

 

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Apparently i have scared a few people with the potassium permanganate. It’s as “safe” as using any other dye, WHEN you follow the protocols! (Would you drink or bathe in Procion??? Or even indigo???????) People also assume that “natural” immediately classifies as safe, and that’s not true either. Yes, PP is corrosive, so wear gloves—-i don’t stick my bare hands in ANY dye pot, mordant or assistant, i wear protective gear when mixing. PP is inert on the fibres: it is not going to explode or spontaneously combust, UNLESS you let ALL the liquid in the bath evaporate and then store it improperly. PP is poisonous–guess what? So are pokeweed, privet berries, rhubarb leaves can be problematic with all the oxalic acid, and logwood is potentially deadly. I also NEVER stick my nose over a pot and inhale deeply while exclaiming how earthgoddessywonderful it is, or blithely swish my unprotected hands through a conventional indigo vat, or even a 123 vat (there’s lime in there, right? and i’m not talking about the fruit.) Common sense people, common sense. We *don’t* know cumulative effects for most of these substances, because when they were in common use, nobody was doing studies about it, were they? Who wants to die from dyeing?

indigo moons again

I just can’t resist these. I love looking at the fabrics i’ve dyed, envisioning new moonscapes, different thread colourways, unique stitches i haven’t tried before.

I’ve got quite a little stockpile of these now to work. Not all are in the photo!

I’ve been alternating these with the res work, and the large commission.

 

moon decision made

So handy to live in a digital age 🙂 Hesitant to put needle and thread to the centre, i did this first, and am confident that the top right is the way to go. Some of the sketchies were dismissed immediately, some would work elsewhere on other work, but this gives me a clear idea of how to handle that centre strip.

It needs to be “filled” but VERY discretely, and more “openly” so it doesn’t fight with the rest of the moon, and the rest of the work. The moon needs to be emphasized, but not at the expense of the other elements: it can’t assume more importance than the figures or side work.

My order of threads had arrived last week, so i’ve chosen the Caron Wildflowers #171 Caramel to work that area. It “blends” enough with the colours of the fabric and natural dye processes, but is still alive enough to add a little interest, without being overly visible. There’s plenty, with 2 skeins, to do this and to add the discrete hexagons to other areas of the whole. I may also use it for the standing figure–which has to go on the frame sometime this week and be done!