Since one is always looking for resources on lichen dyeing I felt obligated to share this link. http://www.umilta.net/LichenDyeingEMB.html
It came from this Facebook post….enjoy, if you don’t use natural dyes you will at least enjoy the illustrations.
Today I finally got to play with my soy milk, watercolors & natural dye pigment. These ideas came from the Japanese Katazome tradition taught by John Marshall. John covers the basics here on his web page.
My friend, Marge, helped me figure out my support frame. Once that puzzle was conquered we sized test scarves with soy milk. We let the scarves cure for a couple of days and after Marge left I got to do some color play.
The watercolors mixed nicely with the soy milk. I do need to work on my brush work and stencil skills.
My pigments that I precipitated with calcium hydroxide were definitely not as bright as the watercolors. The lichen oxidized from purple to brown during the precipitation. The weld exhaust was….well, exhausted. I got a nice yellow back wash but not weld yellow.
The pieces are drying and tomorrow I will mount them on their frame and give them their final coat of soy before I set them aside to cure. Once cured they will get a hand wash and steam pressing and I’ll see how each method, natural dye precipitation and watercolors work with soy. I am happy with the possibilities!
As we start 2015 I am creating collage photos of the dye plants and the finished product in one photo. Quite a composition challenge! Here is a start! Happy New Year to all!
This is a silk shawl donation for our public library here in Johnson City, Texas coming up in March. It is screen printed with an iron mordant and dipped in our Texas Persimmon.
And these are some large silk wraps dipped in my local native or garden grown dye stuff. Starting top left and working clockwise…..the source colors are Texas persimmon, Texas red madder root, Japanese indigo and teloschistes exilis, slender orange bush lichen.
These silk wraps will be heading to our local art gallery, Texcetera
After 20-30 mph winds one day, marble size hail another day and a driving rain on a different day it is a great morning to harvest the windfall lichens. Especially with the am humidity and mist the lichen easily peels of the branches instead of crumbling in the dry weather.
Now if I could only get Harley the tripod cat to go near the trees where the lichen windfall is located!
It’s a windy, cold & wet day here in the Hill Country, perfect for harvesting windfall lichen. I can finally bend over to pick up lichen without my shoulder feeling like it will fall off. Yahoo! My dye hoist has been installed on the dye patio. Once the sun comes out this week I’ll post some photos. Back to lichen gathering. See how the grey glows against the grasses?
My shoulder surgery therapy has moved to strengthening (1-2# weights). Things are moving in the right direction. In the meantime I am trying to explore areas that I can maybe use on painted warps in the future. Hopefully giving my shoulder time to calm down from the weight exercises.
Today I am venturing into screen printing with natural dyes. I’ve learned from Michel Garcia and Catherine Ellis about using the iron modifier in your thickener to screen print THEN run your natural dye bath. So, I mixed my guar gum and created ferrous acetate from my ferrous sulfate and let fly with the screens.
The test silk is drying now. I am risking my test silk to see if it is damaged by the iron. Tomorrow I’ll dung it with calcium carbonate to fix the iron. Once it is dry the iron is bonded and won’t migrate from the print. Then some pieces will take a trip thru my persimmon dye and some thru the lichen. Once I am happy with my tests I’ll move on to some silk scarves and a silk shirt for a real skill test.
The blank squares on the piece were left for just printing with lichen and the guar gum, always room for one more test! I’ll be able to see if my lichen and persimmon dyes are strong enough to cold print and solar set.
I’ve had many questions on my lichen processing. Most of my skeins are mordanted with 12% wof of alum sulfate. sometimes I add 6% Cot.
Here is a recap from my old blog and some great reference links.
Collecting windfall-easiest to peel off branches on wet dew or rainy morning
My old blog, still transferring info slowly and surely with the recipes
My photos on my old blog with more process examples:
A nice article by Glenna Dean in the Turkey Red Journal on lichens. It was nice to meet her to get a scientific point of view on my lichen journey:
Finally a group collaboration led by Glenna Dean in comparing our process notes and working thru Glenna’s process in Turkey Red Journal. Most of us had worked with lichens before so there were some great conversations.
And an example of photo synthesis with a different lichen, Teloschistes Exilis