10. Jun, 2019

A Mystery Debunked

I had marvelled at the range of colours that some botanical dyers had achieved in their work. Up till now I have concentrated on pure leaf designs - and I still think that will be my major way forward. On Kathy Hays course I learnt that these colours are really resist printed leaves that are then painted with thickened dyes not direct prints at all so mystery and mastery revealed. This piece is a trial on a piece of cotton dyed with pomegranate extract. Pomegranate it naturally high in tannin so when I applied the iron blanket it grabbed the iron and was very dark but it did provide a sample to try out the painting method. Sorry the photo hasn't been ironed but you can see the results. I watered down some of the thickened dyes and used a fine round paintbrush for this. The dyes used were osage orange, cochineal and logwod. Some of them I mixed together to get a gradation of tone. I was trying for a green of some sort but the osage orange had too much red tone and the pomegranate also had red (blue and red = violet) But all in all it was a successful trial. Not sure how much I will use this as I really like the natural leaf imprints with the veining and leaf colours applied even if the pallet is more limited (or maybe because the palette is more limited. All the eco dyes seem to go well together.