Bev has been doing some rust dyeing, with some bit and pieces she found in her dad’s garage. Basically, she put metal, moisture and fabric or paper together, over time – it doesn’t get easier than that! But the results are great.
These were scraps of silk.
This one was an unknown acrylic fabric, which is quite sheer – probably an organza?
Jan brought along her exhibition name tag, a “tag bag”, which was also created with transfer dyes. It’s beautiful and rich and delicate.
This one really shows the breakdown of the screen.
Nola printed this cotton piece:
She also made a larger one with a clear breakdown effect:
Tricia and Nola were also experimenting with discharging some of their dyed cloth, using thiourea dioxide. It’s much milder on cloth than bleach but it’s still a strong chemical, which can affect people in pretty much every way. So good ventilation and proper masks are a must, including during steaming. Here’s Tricia’s experiment:
Nola tried using a print block, which gave very subtle results, as you can see in this closeup:
Bev was also doing some sun printing, using ginkgo leaves from a tree in her street.
Meanwhile, Helen was painting paper with acrylic paints and inks, for a workshop she’s taking. This one was painted with ink first and then with acrylic paints..
Nola and Tricia also spent a day dyeing some cloth. Firstly, they set up a couple of dye pots of natural materials and tied some scarves and yarn with string and blocks, tongue depressors and various other Shibori-style methods.
The first dye pot contained wattle, an Australia native flower similar to mimosa. The wattle flowers are only just coming out in Sydney, so the pot contained both flowers and leaves. The result was a less vivid colour than we’d expect just from wattle flowers.
Nola dyed a silk scarf, another scrappy silk skein and some wool yarn. The mordant was copper sulphate, which gives a lovely glossy coppery effect. This is the silk yarn:
Here's the silk scarf, which was bought prepared for dyeing...
... and the wool skein.here in November last year, so they knew this would produce a deep chocolate brown, especially if they used ferrous sulphate as the mordant. The pot was very strong with lots of liquid, so they divided it after an hour of boiling, and added copper sulphate to one pot and ferrous sulphate to the second pot. The result was quite different shades. Here are Nola’s results from ironbark and copper sulphate. Here's another PFD silk scarf..
These are from ironbark and ferrous sulphate, first a wool scarf, tied with wood blocks at the ends...
As you can see, the mordant made a lot of difference to the colour! Nola used the same wool yarn for the second copper sulphate skein and the ferrous sulphate skein – they were wound in succession from the same cone of yarn.
While they were waiting for the results of the eco-dyeing, they used the Drimarene K dyes they’d been using for breakdown printing, using the Four Minute Rapid Fix method from the Batik Oetoro website.
Urea and salt are mixed together with dissolved dye powder in one container, and, at the last minute, this is combined with the appropriate strength of soda ash. The material to be dyed is placed in a plastic bag and the required amount of combined dye liquid is poured over. Tricia and Nola used scarlet and turquoise dye. Nola poured her dye over a neutral Cancer Council hat and over a rather scrappy skein of silk yarn.
After four minutes at the required temperature, the contents were hung on the line to drip dry and then rinsed out gently with warm water and Synthrapol. So easy!
Stay tuned for Tricia’s dyeing results…
We haven’t just been playing around, though. Some of us have actually made things too. Bev created this book with reverse piano hinge binding. It’s a clever kind of binding that allows for extra pages to be added to a book quite easily.
here, though it looks slightly different to Bev’s book.
The “reverse’ part of the name means the folds holding the pages together are inside the book between the pages; you can also put them on the outside of the book for a different effect. This is a great no-sew method of binding a book.
here and here. She’d been distracted by other things but she was on the homeward stretch now.
Here’s a picture of all our sections of the work for the Fragment exhibition in August, displayed together. This isn’t how they’ll be displayed at the exhibition in August, but you can see how they relate to one another.
Jan is also putting work into this exhibition.
And as always we exchanged postcards. Not many of us had time this month, just Helen…
See you in August!