Last week I was invited to join my friend, Jane, at Needlers Camp—a group of women who meet to share their fiber projects, good food and good company. They meet during the year but one week in summer they meet every morning and call it camp! So many talented people, so many inspiring projects, so much skill and love of their work. I was asked to bring my “Stitches, not Words” project, “Fiber Book” and “Bridges” project for show and tell.
I wanted to take something to work on but the bridges project is solitary as I need it to speak to me for direction so I need something else. When I was finishing “Stitches not Words” I had made one base that had been dyed with madder in addition to the rust and tea that the others had been. I had grown the madder and harvested it a number of years ago.
The piece is rectangular (9.25″ x 7.5″) and assembled in triangles, not squares. I wanted to stitch on it in triangles and add some text. I have some ideas but will wait and see what it says it needs.
So that’s what I worked on while having a lovely morning chatting and nibbling away. Thank you Jane and thank you Needlers!
I have been exploring natural dyes with my Harrisville Koehler Yarn to use in mixed bundles for my tapestry. These small balls were dyed with madder, and iron & black tea.
Samples of dyeing with madder, and with rusty iron and tea
The one on the upper right is just iron and tea in a jar left to set for days. The others use madder from a plant I grew and harvested years ago. The top left ball is pre mordanted with alum and a bit of cream of tarter – the lower left was a mixture of iron, tea, and madder all together, the lower right was pre mordanted with alum, then soaked in the just the tea/iron mix for days and then into the madder dye overnight.
I’m not going for exact dye recipes as I did years ago but rather letting the magic take me where it does. And it is magic!!!
Imperfect Gallery had a exhibition “An All Women Show” and I wasn’t going to enter as I have a problem with being labeled a “Woman Artist” I am a woman and I am an artist but while each influences the other, I don’t feel they define each other. But as it got closer I decided to get over my self and enter as I really like supporting this small wonderful gallery that is doing so much for my neighborhood.
I had dyed this camisole previously and had been thinking how to display it. It developed from my rusty dyeing for stitches project but while I really liked it it did not stand on its own. I liked the references to time and decay that the dyeing with metal gears gave and wanted to develop that theme. After applying it to a distressed canvas with bits from old linen formal napkins that had belonged to my grandmother, I added the clock gears and hands – they had belonged to my grandfather. These references to family history, for me, added to the sense of time and things lost.
I got it just in the nick of time and was glad I entered.
“Time Takes its Toll”
I’m pleased with how it turned out and would eventually like to show it along side pieces from my “Stitches, not Words” project.
Continued to work with Rusty Bits. Balancing the amount of tea and the effect of the various rusty bits. Have some wonderful diagonals from Jay and some wonderfully round rusty bolts from a pier in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia… I like the fact that I know where the bits came from and that they represent experiences and interactions to me.
Print from Rusty Bits and morning tea bag.
This piece has more textures than some and has wonderful fine lines which are more easly seen in the larger view.
Will post some more in the future. I love the fact that while I can adjust the tea and rust—even the type of paper makes a difference—the result is a wonderful surprise! I’m working on some stitched fabric that I can try with this—printing the rusty patterns after the stitching.
Found a rusty bit yesterday during our walk in the Wissahocken. Lying there in the mud it had been flattened and at first I thought it was a bit if twisted string but went back and sure enough it was a rusty bit!
Love the twists – perhaps some sort of hanger?
This am I used a piece of folded rough watercolor paper I had prepared to insert in a sketch book and layered my new Rusty Bit with my tea bag from breakfast!
How much fun is this!!!
Been a very busy Spring Break! Finished the long warp, Worked on drawing each day, and just wrapped up a project I’ve been working on since last summer on eco dyeing with leaves etc.—little major gets done during the school year. The eco dying was done while I was dying fabric for “Stitches, not Words”, only it was on paper and also involved plant material.
I layered various leaves from my yard between pages of fairly heavy paper, bundled them up and dyed them in a pot over heat for an hour – let them cool for several days before opening the bundle. Very happy with the etherial result, on both sides of the paper.
The original idea was to make a small book but when I saw them I wanted to see them much larger. That’s when they went into a drawer with other ideas, waiting for a final solution. Sooooo, a bit ago I took them out and scanned them at a high resolution to be printed archivally at 18 in x 24 in. This one and two others are posted on my printmaking page
One of a series, more on my Printmaking page.
I’m really happy with the results and have entered 2 in different juried shows (not pieces shown here)—so we’ll see where this goes. I’m always nervous about entering work but regardless of the outcome there, I will be doing more of these – once school is out in May and once something grows in my snow covered yard!