Color from Mordants

In natural dyeing, mordants can be used to shift the color of the dye, and give magical, some times unexpected, but definitely exciting results!
For this piece of silk, I first did an immersion dye in a bath of  expired lilac flowers.  I harvested these in early fall, so the remains were very dry.  Next, I silk screened some of the motifs with iron and some with copper and overdyed in a bath of madder root, giving the silk ghost images of the motif in a greenish brown from the copper and grayish pink from the iron.   I then silk screened the motif again with madder and with black walnut.  The multi-layering  created a subtle dimensional quality to the silk.

Detail of Madder on silk

A closer view showing the subtle and delicate seed pod image on the simmering pink silk.

Madder on silk

I am usually not a great fan of "pink", but, this color came out gorgeous! It is
immersion dyed in madder root and then silk screened with madder and black walnut dye paste.
 I think it would make a beautiful scarf!
36" x 45" silk

Journal Page-Direct Print

This is an example of a direct  print of a black walnut leave and a rusty iron bolt.
You can see at the top of the sample were the rusty iron bolt left the darker impression,
and the contrast at the bottom, with the leave pigment.  The shades of gray are a result
of the iron, tannin and leave pigment interaction, leaving a very interesting pattern!
  I used organic cotton sateen fabric and cotton embroidery thread.



This piece is a costume idea of a long and continous journey through the natural world. The "skirt" is a fabric remnant that had its own little journey; I originally used the fabric to make a bedskirt for my daughter, then shipped the left over fabric to my sister.  Several years later, ( and I mean several!) she gave it back.  Several dips in various dye baths including, red alder, madder, and black walnut, changed its color from an unnatural bleached white to its current pleasant earth tone. The flower pattern is a silk screened print of a flower drawing from my sketch book, using black walnut dye.
The tank top is felted wool/silk yarn.

Shibori Indigo

Shibori is the Japanese method of resist dyeing, it can be done by stitching, clamping, and
wrapping.  Indigo is a  vat dye, that comes from the Indigofera tinctoria plant. Another project
in my wood shop class, was to hand work a wedge-jointed stool from poplar wood. When it came time to decide on the finish, to me there was no other choice-this stool must be wrapped resisted
and dipped into a vat of indigo!

Mahogany Dyed Organic Fabric Swatches

This is a page from my dye journal, they are swatches of various organic cottons, silks and peace silk
dyed with the mahagony wood chips, you can see the unfinished carving project in the
background-I am sure I will finish it at some point! The color left on the fabric is very close to the
wood color.