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Lao Khao Tam Huuk

1 Feb

Meanwhile, over on my Simple Looms blog… 05-LL-13 copy.jpg

https://simplelooms.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/the-lao-khao-tam-huuk-one-of-the-foundations-of-lao-pattern-weaving/

San Antonio lecture 9/10/16 – The Color of Nature: Exploring Roots, Wood, Bugs, and Berries

22 Aug

Sponsored by the Friends of San Antonio Natural Areas – September 10th 10am – noon at Friedrich Wilderness Park classroom located at 21395 Milsa Rd. San Antonio, TX 78256

Explore the natural history of color while learning contemporary application techniques. This talk will include practical aspects such asbinding agents as well historic uses. Participants can view examples of the colors produced by Texas lichens, cactus tuna, cochineal, Texas agarita, and more! For centuries, people have used natural dyes using locally available plant, mineral and even insect sources. Today, choosing natural dyes over the chemical alternative is becoming more popular as we move toward more sustainable ways of living. This workshop is presented by Deb McClintock, local artist and textile designer. For more information, call (210) 207-3782, or email nicole.mcleod@sanantonio.gov. Suggested donation: $3 per person, or $6 per family.

Click here to make a reservation – donations are suggestion but not necessary, look for the September 10th lecture.  http://fosana.org/calendar/

 

 

Indigo & Indigo

18 Aug

With overcast skies and lower temps (mid-80’s) it was time to tackle the garden and trim down the indigos. I had been down from some surgery and after a month recovery I actually have some energy to tackle the garden and try to catch up. Both the Japanese Indigo and the Indigo Suffruticosa have been playing nicely together in the prime bed.  The Suff can be a bully and shade out the JI. If my alternate indigo bed works out on the west side of the house my prime bed will go back to Japanese Indigo. In the meantime there is trimming to do. Here’s the start…


The cage is to keep the raccoons from digging for grubs around my Japanese Indigo.  I ended up with eight bundles of JI to dry.  These leaves will dry over the next week as our temps jump back up and be stored for more dried leaf dye experiments.

I used the shorter cuttings and trimmings to do some blender indigo. I couldn’t bear to let any indigo leaf go to waste!


I keep the JI leaves in iced water until I could get to them.  I then trimmed out my Indigo Suffrucitosa to put another batch into a soak.


That trimming  yielded about 1700 grams of leaves.  They’ve been tucked in a tall pot, given water and sat aside to soak a couple of days to free up the indigo from the leaves….rot it out!

There was another IS batch prepped this week and proved itself an indigo pot.  I added slaked lime and some solar ground madder root I had on hand to help reduce the pot, looking back at yesterday I tested some napkins and the pot proved ready to work.   Here’s yesterday’s results from Indigo Suffrucitosa reduced with rotten madder root with a ph kick of slaked lime.


Today I dipped a linen shirt I found in a Santa Fe thrift shop, it came out a great dark blue after two five minute dips and a hour oxidation between the dips.


Turning my attention back to the iced Japanese Indigo I popped it thru the blender and filtered it to keep the mashed leaves out of my dye bath.  I had an indigo shirt which had faded with washing so I wanted to freshen the color.  It will show as green but will shift to indigo blue slowly. It is another white shirt I picked up at a thrift store that needed a new life.


Finally, earlier this year I believe I posted my silk skeins that turned a mystery purple/lavender.  I popped those in the blender indigo to overdue the lavender to shift to the more traditional indigo blue.  Here’s the before & after!


These skeins might go into the IS pot with some other skeins from last year. Layering the blues makes them so rich! Or I might stop with this blue. It depends on how they level out after washing.

So….from my Indigo Suffrucitosa on the left I get the deep blue and on the right I get my Japanese Indigo green. It will slowly shift to the indigo blue we know. All of my materials are oxidizing now to strengthen the indigo bond and I will neutralize all with vinegar bath tomorrow so the slaked lime high ph will not weaken the goods.  A good day clearing the garden and catching up on some dyeing!

Dye Talk in San Antonio, Tx

4 Nov

If you are around San Antonio on Nov 12th I’d love to meet fellow dyers… I am speaking about natural dyes I use from my valley & garden!

  

Meeting location:

  

Fall Drought

3 Oct

There is good news & bad new….

The indigos are going to seed in the irrigated garden, more indigo for next year….

  
 My yarns from Georgia Yarn Company are here to prep for my November guild natural dye class.  Silk, wool & cotton! http://www.handweaver.us/georgia_yarn_company.htm
 
I must be the only weaver to buy white wool from Southwest Weaving

 

Look at all her colors!

http://www.weavingsouthwest.com/shop/view_cat/76 

We’ve cut over to well water as our cistern is down significantly. We usually just need a brief rain to refill but there had been none since the May floods.  Walking around you can see the summer drought impact on our land.

Minimum acorn crop this year, last year one could see an abundance, this year only singles on the branches.  

And you can see the lack of moisture around the trees… Only .42 of rain since early June…

   
So…we are hopeful the El Nino will bring some rains in November and repenish the ground AND our cistern!

Sun in the Hill Country

28 May

Short & sweet! We and the Japanese Indigo are thrilled to see the sun for 3 hours today in the Texas Hill Country!

  

Your colors aren’t bright enough…..

26 Jan

Gah, trying to educate gallery managers on natural dyes is a never ending conversation. My latest rug came home with me instead if hanging in the gallery because of color issues. One just had to keep educating!

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In the meantime, this handwoven natural dye rug is available direct from the weaver and hand dyer.

“River Running Dry”
50″x30″
$800 + tax/shipping. Leicester Longwool, natural dyes as indicated below.
Ready to hang!

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