Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the brighter side

Not all of the past two weeks have been hard. I did do some felting...though the piece is dragging on much longer than usual. But the best thing I did art-wise was to do some dyeing and felting with my wonderful nieces. These little girls always bring me joy and when we are doing these projects I feel good about myself.
First we picked some leaves and berries that were growing in the yard. We had to do this quickly since a thunderstorm was fast approaching. We weathered the storm in the basement, not because it was that bad but because that is where the dye studio is. It is great to have this space where we can be really messy!  I forgot to take photos but the girls' mom got some shots as we were opening our bundles.

Here we are discussing what worked well.
'A' does not look too sure about touching the mushy cooked leaves, though 'K' does not seem to mind.

We were all happy with our results, though 'A' was getting a bit silly putting a large felt bowl on her head.
We had talked about mordants and how they can change the colors. (These girls are very smart and interested in everything!)  Since my piece had colors similar to the girls' I put it in washing soda to show them how it would change. Here is a photo of it after the washing soda dip.

While we were waiting for the pot to boil we did some felting. They wanted to make butterflies. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the ones the girls made. Here is mine.

I did more dyeing on my own as well.
This one was done with old dried rose petals found while cleaning out my daughter's college apartment.

This was done with mystery leaves I gathered in Ithaca on a break from cleaning out that apartment. I wish I knew how it happened that while the one leaf only left an outline the spot where it overlapped the other leaf is a different color. My theory is that it acted as a resist of some sort.

I did some dyeing with berries. It is too bad that the color will not stay for long. This is done with chokecherries.

Leftover crushed black berries. The pot had some iron in it.

This was done with purple loosestrife and a fern that had lots of spores on the back of the leaves.

This was a piece that I over-dyed with annatto by just sticking it in the jar and letting it soak for a long time. The dark spots are from St. John's wort.
Here is a photo of all the pieces. The silks on the upper right were done with rust.