Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Now adding a little colour to life...

For our first March meeting, we decided to play with colouring silk in its various forms. Tricia brought us a selection of silk products to play with, and her landscape dyes. We also brought food colouring to try out.

It’s basically a pretty simple process – mix up some dye in bowls, dump in the fibre or trickle the dye over it, put the fibres in a plastic bag (or in the case of the trickled ones, roll it up in the plastic wrap it was sitting on) and leave it on the grass in the sun until the dye is absorbed. Rinse out later.
Here are the dyers at work:
And here are the treasures in their bags
Obviously, most of the treasures went home in their plastic bags but I can finally show you what wonderful things were made. This is a compilation of Tricia’s dyeing.
Gorgeous colours and textures!
She says, “I really wanted to try out some colours I hadn’t used before.” In a little more detail, we have:
Top – dyed cocoons, and below - silk cap, which has been chained without spinning, just by pulling out the fibres. It’s a lovely silky chain, perfect for all sorts of uses in textile art.

Silk top, dyed with berry and mustard dye. She plans to use this for silk paper
Silk rods and other bits, dyed with turquoise
Silk cap – this one had mustard dripped on it and then crystals of sky blue
Silk cap – dyed with bloodwood
Tussah silk dyed with watermelon
Other Tussah silk
Beverley dyed some cocoons and rods…
And some “other stuff”…
She had also turned some of her fibre into silk paper:

Here’s Prue, busy dyeing, but we don’t have photos of her pieces yet.
Carol spent some time knitting and watching the others hard at work.
Nola painted her cocoons and a rod with food dye…
(The white sheet is the paper towel she used underneath - worth saving!)
… and then with metallic paints.
Paint sits on the surface, while dye or food colouring wicks in, so they look quite different. The paint added some interesting highlights.
Hopefully we'll have photos of the other girls' work soon!

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