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Monday, August 24, 2015

Untying the Eco Bundles (eco-printing or plant dyeing)

One of the 'dangers' for me in having two weeks to myself to create art (as an artist in residence at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site) is that I bring with me more projects than I could possibly complete in that 2 week time.

This post is a continuation of the previous post where I got the plant matter ready and bundled things up to steam and let the chemistry and natural pigments do their work for some eco-printing aka botanical dyeing.

Now, I get to 'unveil' them!

This one is a small silk scarf that contained red onion skins, marigold petals and some tea leaves (from the tea I brew every morning). I don't think I got any color out of the tea leaves, but I do think the tannins in the tea helped to intensify the colors.

I did three of these small silk scarves and although I used the same technique in assembling them, they all look different to me.

This is the larger bundle which is a cotton tea towel from Target. It contains the sliced up 'wild carrot' (which really isn't a carrot, but a plant called, dock root), tea leaves, oak leaves from last fall and some red onion skins.

Peeling the 'sandwich ' apart...

I was surprised the the PVC pipe that I wrapped everything around picked up the pigment from the dock root. I didn't think it was a porous surface!

And, here comes the, 'now what?' question, as in, what do I do now? I will hang onto it until I get home and wait for the oak trees to turn red in the fall. With that, I'll do some over dyeing and see how I feel about that outcome then.

Here are the 3 silk scarves after they've had a chance to dry. Don't think I'm done with these either.