lundi 5 septembre 2011

A Copper Pot

A while back I bought an old hand hammered copper pot.  It was very dirty and, because of that, I managed to get it a good price.  It's been sitting in my fireplace holding dried herbs and waiting for a  scrub.

An old pot on a very modern stove top
Last week I put some serious sweat equity into my copper pot.  There was a horrible smelling layer of burnt crust, which I sanded away.  After the sanding started to take up a bit too much of the copper I asked a friend how best to continue.  She told me to clean the pot using a solution of vinegar and salt. 
1/2 cup salt or more
1/3 cup vinegar
and a little water if you want to use less vinegar

Do your cleaning in a well ventilated area and wear gloves. My hands turned blue and the house smelled like a penny jar. 
The chemical reaction does a lot of the cleaning.  I left my pot to sit over night.  You can prop the pot at different angles in order to avoid using too much vinegar.  I would recommend using large salt as it helps with the scrubbing.  I couldn't get all of the black spots out, but I figured that if I couldn't scrub it off, it probably wasn't going to leave marks on my wool.

A sunflower from my garden
When I'd finished scrubbing I was so eager to use my new (old) pot that I ran out to the garden to find some dye stuffs.  I cut down a few small sunflower heads and chopped them up.  They were old and had lost most of their petals, but the bath did contain a few petals and a couple of leaves.

The sunflower bath
The dye material weighed about 150g. After an hour at a low boil I strained off the dye bath added cold water and poured the whole mixture back into the rinsed out copper pot.  The bath was a striking deep reddish brown.  I added an alum mordanted 100g skein of BFL superwash sock wool to the bath.  I heated this to a low simmer and let it cook for about an hour.  I cut the heat and let the skein sit in the pot overnight. 

The skein before it sat in a bath overnight
Never underestimate the benefits of patience.  I was rewarded with a lovely medium spruce green skein. 

This skein is darker in real life.
It's hard to photograph greens, and these pictures don't do the color justice.   I'm very pleased with the color.  Using a copper pot will open up a whole new world of natural greens.

3 commentaires:

  1. OK, I have to find a copper pot (fat chance!). That is a great green colour. I know what you mean about the difficulty of photographing green, so I'm adding to it. But even just in the photo it's really pretty :)

  2. Copper pots are easy to find in France, but the shipping would be very expensive. Thanks!

  3. What a beautiful green! And I really love your pot! I think it´s always difficult to get good pictures of your yarn, that shows the real beauty of the colours!