18. Feb, 2020

Used Teabags

I have used quite a few teabags in my art work over the last few years. While I could go and buy a box of teabags and make these into a large tea, I prefer to genuinely recycle and use the teabags that have been used to make tea in the family. So my kitchen windowsill usually looks like this. And at the end of the bench is a container where I am also collecting onion skins for dying - not a good way to have a tidy kitchen bench! I like to let the teabags dry so that I get the lovely tannin staining patina on the bags. When they are fairly dry I cut carefully around three sides of the bag and empty the used tea leaves into the worm scrap bucket. I let them dry further before I smooth off any still attached leaves and store them. I am working toward colour dying more with procion dyes in the microwave and playing with coloured teabags - maybe over our winter. I know that some teabags are constructed differently to the ones we use but I haven't tried working with those very much to date. But this weekend I am going to a workshop with Judy Coates Perez from USA. This is the lady who first got me interested in messing around with teabags from an article in Quilting Arts many years ago. She does some different stuff to what I do so it will be interesting to add her techniques to the mix.