Tag Archives: lichen

Life Interrupted By Dementia

2 Dec

I don’t post my finished product much to this blog. I tend to focus on “the process” but here is an exception. Much gratitude to Linda Haddock at EchoInJohnsonCity for her generosity in creating a salute to Dementia Awareness Month. My natural dye block woven rug which she purchased via the Hill Country Science Mill Auction is featured in her store.

A brief tour of the Echo Art Front Board

Soy milk, watercolor & pigment

1 Mar

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!


Looking at Dye Patio From The Wrong Direction

30 May

I haven’t posted lately as I have not been on the dye patio. The drought has dragged on and we’ve had a slight break this week with almost 6 inches of rain. I’ve been reluctant to run dye pots with the slim chances of rain. I have been tending the dye plant garden with some success and a major failure, more on that in another post.

Now, my weld has come into blossom and is going from bloom to seed, it is time to harvest it and run some brilliant yellows. Since I’m not a yellow fan these skeins are destined for over dyes with indigo and iron for greens.


And the persimmon is coming along with the fruit forming and another great crop coming on line.


I plan to experiment with both the weld and persimmon dye stocks and try to precipitate the color out with sodium carbonate in order to store the extract long term. More on that if I can made it work.

My shoulder surgery went well and after a year my arm is working normally. I have spent more time in the weaving studio to finish old projects and plan new ones. Here are some old and new scarves done with the natural dye yarns.



I’ve found I am either on a dye path or a weave path. It is difficult to run both side by side. So, eventually, the dyestuff harvest will determine the schedule and I’ll be back on the dye patio at the dye pots. So…see you soon when I am back at the dye patio.

teloschistes exilis

24 Oct

A quick picture post, more words later.

Below is my dye experiments with teloschistes exilis or slender orange bush lichen. It took over two years to collect 2 ounces of this windfall lichen plus one big damaging wind storm. The substrate is silk. I now know this process works as well on silk as well as wool!

The lichen was soaked for about two months in one part ammonia and 2 part water. An amazing solar photosynthesis happens when you allow the skein to dry slowly in the sun.

If anyone can provide input/resources on the chemical reaction taking place please let me know. For now, I am enjoying the color! Of course if I want to keep the pink I would allow the skein to dry in the shade.

See the time lapse below for the transformation from pink to blue.





This final photo show the two original skeins, the one on the left was rinsed with vinegar, in other words I took the ph down. The one on the right was the one which went to blue under the sun!

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