Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eco-Dying, Something Old, Something New

A new found technique, eco dyeing, is based in established processes of yesteryear .  Eco dyeing got it's name because it is safe for the environment as no chemicals are used in any stages of the dyeing process.  An introduction tutorial to the process is available at  Chicago Craft Mofia. The tutorial provides the basic concepts to using eco friendly natural dyes.

Two friends and I enjoyed a day of eco dyeing water color papers and fibers together.  Betty shared the process as well as resources with us.  We worked at layering paper and organic materials from the garden.  The wrapped bundles were immersed in boiling water for 90 minutes.  It was like Christmas morning unwrapping each bundle and discovering the natural, subtle and striking colors created.

An artist can not live in isolation.  I have found that friends and exposure to all art is conducive to creative growth.  I love exploring materials and experimenting with techniques and creating design in the process. Here are some samples of work created from the day with friends.

Layered materials
Dyed Paper

Rinsing bundles of paper
Sample #1
Sample #2

 The finished pieces came out very different from what was originally placed on the paper and fabric. While the results are serendipitous, they are equally beautifully organic.

Wanting to enhance the naturally occurring shapes of the leaves and flowers, I added stitch.  Machine stitching looked mechanical. So that option was off the table. Hand stitching was a better choice as the texture created by the hand markings added to the organic shapes and color ways of the dyed papers. 

Torn Paper
Tree Scape #1
  These hand stitched pieces are 5.5 by 8.5 inches and easy to work with.  My goal is to experiment with different embroidery threads and colors to create contrast and develop the design.  Some designs are pictorial while others are abstract.  Each is stitched utilizing the original print design. Felt was tacked onto back of the dyed paper to provide a foundation for the stitching.  I used black felt, 20% wool. 

A closing thought:
"Part of the act of creating is discovering your own kind. They are everywhere. But don't look for them in the wrong places."
- Henry Miller

No comments:

Post a Comment