29 July 2019

The Maine Event Preparations

Last week Marcella came over and we worked on recipes for imitation Kakishibu. 

We LOVED it. This will be one of the techniques for the Maine Event in September. The other big technique we will be presenting we are calling Brilliant Color. We will be using silks, linen and cotton. Folks can bring whatever fabric they want and I will be providing a small piece of silk charmeuse.

We got together today to try noil, dupioni, charmeuse and linen. We want to avoid any "mishaps" in dyeing at the event so everyone goes home thrilled with their work since this is my last year teaching.

Here are the pieces we made as samples. We only used two colors and one background color: Intense blue, Fuchsia, and chartreuse in the background.

Front above and back below


Front above and back below

25 July 2019

kitchen project with no fabric or fiber involved

I had a low chest of drawers and a small 14 x 14 top table that I used as an island. I was on IKEA when I spotted a work table (Bror) for $149. Just for kicks I put it in my cart and it would ship with the rest of my order (white Drona Boxes) for my studio units all for $9.99. This work table is much higher than the chest so I pressed "pay". 


I love Ikea because everything goes together so easily. Well, the work table came with dents, torqued legs and three screws missing from the top which I lay at the feet of FedEd. It had probably been rolling around in the truck for 3 days. I found the three screws rolling around in the box and re-screwed them adding heavy cement. The torqued legs were the biggest problem but after HOURS the simple assembly was finally over. Should have taken 15-30 minutes.

 Picture from IKEA

Those who know me know I hate black. I meant like abhor. The black table was sucking all the light out of the room so today I took it out to the garage, taped off the wooden top that I painted with four coats of semi-gloss poly, and painted the black white. I did go back after seeing this picture and respray the lower shelf as well as a few other tiny spots. It looks great and NOT dead.

In Maine, nothing much is open Sunday but our new lumber yard surprisingly was. I had run out of spray paint but was able to get the identical products there. Since I was in Belfast (smile), I went to the greenhouse with my $10. off coupon and bought a great Monarda with fat and full blooms. Nothing like the scent of monarda.
Monarda didyma "Parden my Lavender"

It was a win/win day.

22 July 2019

Most fun in a long time

Here are the pieces we made using black thickened dye applied with a hogs hair brush.

This was a silk screen on the last piece of fabric neither of us wanted.  Good thing. It's ugly.

They dried quickly on the hot pavement. When bone dry, I washed them in cold water with 2 color catchers, retayne and Synthropol. Retayne aids in retaining the color and synthropol aids in preventing dye back. The color catchers grab all the free dye molecules in the wash and trap them which also helps in dye back.

Here they are washed dried and ironed.

18 July 2019

Playdate with Marcella

Marcella sent me a link to a form of Japanese dyeing called Kakishibu - persimmon juice dyeing. 

This photo is off the internet. They were made by masami yokoyama yokoyama.

The fermented persimmon juice is very expensive so I suggested we try to imitate the color with MX dyes. She came over today after having purchased jars of dusty orange and nutmeg dyes from ProChem. We tried to approach this is an organized and scientific way. 

We set out three sets of three bowls and added about a fat half to a half yard of fabric to each bowl. Each set had a half cup of water, a half cup of dye solution and a half cup of soda ash water. Marcella labeled each of the three bowls light, medium and dark. In the light here was one tablespoon of dye concentrate then filled to a half cup with water. The medium had 2 tablespoons and the dark 4 tablespoons.

The first one we tried was dusty orange.

The next was Nutmeg

The last was what we called half and half, equal parts dusty orange and nutmeg.

We had to make the most of our time so I rinsed them by hand after an hour and soaked them in soda ash solution. After wringing, we laid them out on the hot asphalt driveway and they dried very quickly. Now we were ready to make marks. See the next post for fabulous results.

15 July 2019

More boiled botanical prints

I will let the prints speak for themselves