Or that’s how it feels around here sometimes.
I’ve decided that I could do better on a piece I’m working on for a group show at Bourgeois Pig in September so I ripped it apart today. I’m working on some small embroideries for a hand work show/sale in October and though I like the one I’m working on now, I’m going to take out last night’s work because I’m not happy with the placement of an element.
Today I decided I really needed to dye some fabric. I’ve been collecting stuff to dye and ideas of what I might want, but I always put off the dyeing. I like a warm, sunny day, which have not been in great numbers here. I also have a great fear of messing something up and having it all turn out bad. Which it did today. The crazy thing is, I can always overdye, so there’s really no wasted fabric. I also don’t like having the kids jumping around when I’m working with messy stuff like dye. And lastly, though the dyes say they’re pretty safe, I know just about everything is toxic at some level, and I just don’t think my little garden can stand too much of the stuff.
Excuses be damned, I dyed today. I even involved my kids, though I drew the line at including the hyper neighbor kids.
I’ve been dyeing vicariously through Gerrie and Glennis of Shibori Girl, so we tried our hands at Shibori-inspired techniques (I won’t even attempt to claim that we were actually making Shibori as that would pay no respect to those who do practice this classic method). I’m pretty happy though with this piece I tied marbles into:
I’ve been dying to try pole wrapping, but I keep forgetting to go get a PVC pipe. I did this around a closet dowel, and although the colors all washed out, I think the patterning is interesting, and I’d be willing to do it again with PVC:
The kids had the greatest sucess with folded fabric and clothes pins. Katja’s was accordion-folded and pinned on both long sides. Zavi folded his into a square and pinned on all four sides:
Out of curiosity, I used Brenda’s Triad Dyeing table and came up with an interesting set. I used Warm Yellow, Turquoise (or medium blue, but I think turquoise), and Rust Brown. They looked awful in the dye bath, but washed out nice, if a little light.
So that’s my problem; the color is very washed-out. I mixed my dye and then added salt and soda ash to it and then poured the mixture onto damp fabric. I had good results with this method in Dijanne‘s class, but maybe my water here is just too hard for this technique. I’ve had washed-out color before at home and I think this is why. I’ve also had better success at home, but I think I may have soaked the fabric first in a soda ash solution and then added dye diluted only with water. I wish I had taken better notes. Maybe I don’t batch long enough. I’ve heard everything from one to 24 hours. These were batched about two hours. Maybe I need to be more patient.
I think the best thing to come of the day though is my newly colored clothes pins!