felt luminary

Monday, September 14, 2015

Botanical Printing & Dyeing

Lately I have not been making as much with felt as I would like.  There are so many ideas for projects I want to create with felt!  Most have made it into a notebook but it's great to be able to begin work while the idea is fresh and the creative energy is flowing!  What can I say, life puts up road blocks occasionallyAll is good now so I hope you will be seeing more innovative & unique ideas appearing here very soon.
It's impossible to not create for some, I'm fortunate enough to be one.  My friend, Carin Engen, and I began experimenting with botanical printing and dyeing a few years ago and WHOA! is this ever fun!!  It really would take me pages to describe the processes, yes-there are many variables, so I'm going to briefly describe what I have done in the photos to follow so you get a taste of what's happening.  One thing that is a "definite" about this process.....there is never a definite!  The variables are so vast.  For example: I collect two dry eucalyptus leaves from the same tree in the spring and print one of them on wool at my house.  I get a black outline of the leaf and the color is a rich, nutty brown.  I print the other leaf the next week at Carin's on wool and I get a bright orange leaf with no outline.  Could be the ph of the water, the pipe used to wrap it around.......You get the idea.  However, I have yet to get a bad result! 

Some call it eco-printing or eco-dyeing, the phrases where coined by India Flint.  Carin and I prefer to use "botanical" as we don't follow any one technique, we experiment and enjoy our results. If you want to read up on the technique there is a wealth of information on the web as well as classes beginning to be offered now.  

 Images created on silk or wool using one or more of eucalyptus, onion skins, black walnut, cochineal, rusty washers to name a few.

Pieces of silk & wool wrapped around iron pipe with plant material folded with in the fabrics then tightly tied with string.  They are steamed for close to 2 hours, turning at regular intervals.    

Here on the right is a nuno felted shrug that I made then botanically printed with eucalyptus leaves and berries.

 I love this piece of silk, to me it looks like a cut slab of exotic marble!  I used this to make a piece that is between a cowl and wrap, it looked great.  Above.

 This is one of my favorite pieces that I've made.  It's nuno felted with a large piece of silk I dyed using primarily onion skins & black walnut hulls.  Right after this picture was taken I received the buttons a friend & talented artist, Victoria Cochran, made for the vest and they look amazing-I wish I had a good photo with the buttons on!  Whenever I wear this I get so many compliments!  One woman even offered to buy it for, well hundreds.  That made my day......but there is no way I could sell it.

I have been doing a decent amount of experimenting with this new art form and hope to show more results soon!  Since I can combine it with my felting it is the perfect compliment with nuno felt, I don't feel like I'm taking time away from my preferred creative medium.


No comments:

Post a Comment