lundi 14 mars 2011

Little Pots

The morning after I made my first six sample pots, I tucked a bit of alum mordanted wool into each of them and placed them in a bain marie.   The colors had changed considerably over night and I was eager to make some tests.

The bain marie.
  After about an hour of low simmering I pulled the glass yogurt cups out and let them cool on the counter.  I couldn't wait to check out the colors, and so I pulled out the little samples, squeezed the excess dye out with my fingers and dropped them onto a paper towel.  I quickly labeled them to avoid confusion. 

Right to left: Oak, Everlasting leaves, Everlasting stems
Right to Left: Hairy rose hips, Hellebore leaves, Hellebore flowers
 There were many surprises.  The rose hips made a nice rusty orange, but it wasn't quite as red as I had hoped it would be.  The oak leaves were a lovely warm peach.  The hellebore tests were probably the most exciting.  The flowers made a primary yellow and the leaves made a good strong golden yellow.  The everlasting leaves made a really electric yellow with a touch of green, but the stems were a bit of a disappointment.  When I came down in the morning the test for the everlasting stems was blue green, a very pronounced blue green.  In the bath it darkened considerably, but the color didn't really take.  Here's what the jar looked like after the bath.

The everlasting stem bath.
 I wish I could get that color onto my wool.  Oh well, you can't win them all.  Today was also productive.  I finally had a chance to strain and dye with the 200g of what I believe are phellinus tuberculosus mushrooms that I had fermenting on the kitchen counter. You can see pictures of them in this post.  They had been there for a good four weeks and my husband was happy to see them go into the compost.  I also made up a bath with 300g of carrot tops from the market.  The color from the carrot tops was a stunning yellow green.  The mushrooms made a soft peach.  The skeins are still drying on the rack.  I'll post pictures as soon as I get the chance.

Right to Left: Mushroom bath, Carrot top bath
Myrtille came over for a "Dye Lot" planning session and we had a very full day of chatting over the dye pots.  We even went for a walk and collected some more samples for dye tests.  Myrtille wanted to test some flowers from a wild fruit tree, the name of which I'll have to look up.

Right to Left: Madder tops and roots, Yellow Flowers, Tree bark
  I pulled up some wild madder which grows on just about every rock wall we have.  We also collected hellebore flowers and oak leaves for two more dye baths. 

Madder, flowers, bark
When we got back to the house I got out some glass yogurt pots and we cut up the flowers and the madder.  I took the branches from the flowers and decided to test them too.  We poured boiling water over and watched as the color started to collect in the pots.  Myrtille's flowers immediately made the water turn yellow.  The pot with the bark from that same wild fruit tree has gone a soft peachy pink.  The madder started out yellow, but is now a burnt orange color.

The madder pot.
While we waited for the pots, we decided to cut up the oak leaves for a dye bath.  We managed to chop up 175g before getting bored. 

Oak leaves
 I'm going to dry the rest of the leaves. They should be much easier to crumble when they're dry.  Also, I'd like to see if there's a difference in the dye depending on whether or not the leaves are fresh or dried.  We made the bath of fresh oak leaves.  I pulled out a jar to show you the color of the bath. 

The oak leaf bath.
The hellebore flowers are simmering in the pot.  I'm not going to simmer them for too long.  I've read that flower dyes don't usually like too much heat or long simmering.

 I was so busy trying to think of what to make for dinner that I forgot to weigh the flowers before tossing them into the pot.....another victim of multitasking.

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