Still dyeing, but I have some news!

All this dyeing is not just for me, I’m hoping to use it for medieval embroidery workshops as well. The Weald and Downland museum just confirmed that they’d like me to lead a workshop on embroidered medeival trees in April. I’m quite excited – not least because I’ve always wanted to visit the Weald and Downland but it’s a bit of a hike from where I live, so this is the perfect excuse.

The choice of trees was because trees are very abstract, and you don’t need to be good at drawing to draw one, so it opens things up to people of all ranges of ability. We’re going to be working in laid and couched work and it’s many variations. I have a few other workshops yet to confirm – so watch this space!

dye 4

these are all alum mordaned

Top row left – third wash cochineal. To be honest it looks more like second wash, and I can’t tell the first and second wash apart, so I’m thinking that particular bath might have been a bit stronger than I’d anticipated.

top row right – third wash cochineal with an after mordant of iron

second row left – fourth wash cochineal

second row right – fourth wash cochineal with after mordant of iron

third row left – fifth wash cochineal

third row middle – fifth wash cochineal with after mordant of iron

third row right – sixth wash cochineal – and that one purply hank right at the very end is one of those hanks of dodgy alkanet that I overdyed.

fourth row left – logwood first bath

fourth row right – logwood first bath after mordanted with iron. Now I’m going to come clean here and admit that I washed and rinsed the logwood and iron/cochineal all together, and the colours are so close I’m not entirely sure I sorted them back out properly. In fact I’m sure I didn’t – I can’t tell them apart with the naked eye at all

fifth row left – second bath logwood wih an afer mordant of tin. I was a bit panicked at first because I thought it had gone properly imperial purple, but it seems to have turned out the nice lavender I wanted. I once followed an c18th dye recipe for dusky rose pink and got full on imperial purple, and no one believed that it was naturally dyed. It was slightly embarrassing, it interfered with my constant struggle to project a vague air of competance.

Fifth row right – dodgy alkanet overdyed with second bath madder and then dipped in tin.

sixth row – some of the white tweed I used for noah’s ark which has been dyed with dyer’s greenweed. This is for my new handbag project and it’s John’s fault. I’m doing a medieval zodiac (I don’t want to do another labours of the months straight after the first so this is the interim project) and I mailed John to ask him what colours to do the various symbols on. He very firmly insisted that my idea of doing the air signs on blue was unacceptable, so I had to dig this bit out and dye it

bottom – wool tape (bought, not woven by me) dyed with walnut for JOhn’s leg binding/puttee/wyningas thingies. I got him enough tape for two sets, so dyed half of it because the original colour could best be described as corporate griege, which is never appealing, and whats worse it shows the muck something rotten

And speaking of zodiacs, here’s the central panel in progress – the signs will eventually radiate our around him. Helios/ Apollo/the sun, done with the fibres I’ve just been dyeing, which are looking less than subtle in this combination. Gareth says he looks like Jesus. I tried explaining that many early depictions of Jesus were lifted directly from classical depictions of solar dieties, but he could care less cos he’s a right ignoramus.


~ by opusanglicanum on September 20, 2013.

18 Responses to “Still dyeing, but I have some news!”

  1. The Weald is a bit of a hike from here, too, but medieval embroidered trees might be a good step towards getting to grips with the Vision of Placidus – do let me know when you have dates for it!

  2. I’d love to come to your workshop, but don’t think I can get there for April! Love all the purples in this set.

  3. Wonderful colours!

    I too have not yet been to the Weald & Downland but would very much like to… Unfortunately, April is not going to be the best time for me (although… you say the 6th? hmm… perhaps *schemescheme*).

    Do let us know about the other workshops as soon as you can!

  4. Beautiful colors! Congrats on being asked to lead a workshop… nice.

  5. I too an ignoramus – why can’t you use blue?

    • I always do my blues last. the process is more complicated because it involves dipping rather than soaking, so is more time -consuming. but also blue is used to overdye some of the yellows to create greens. hopefully I will have time to get to the blue dyes this week. I might even overdye a few reds and pinks to get different purples, but that really depends upon how the vats hold out as they’re a low priority

  6. All your colours are gorgeous. Turns out I don’t live that far from the Weald and Downland museum (never previously heard of it!) so I’ll see if the date is convenient a little nearer the time. They have an interesting schedule, but unfortunately 2014 isn’t showing yet on their website.

  7. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 21204 more Infos: […]

  8. If you’re doing trees, will you be dying some green? Just wondering…

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