Monday, March 10, 2008

I got my new book, some new clothes and met a new artist.

Yesterday I got busy dyeing. One pot of eucalyptus cinerea and the other of NZ flax flowers boiling on my stove top. Also a pot of onion skins, and some rusty trays outside with seawater.
This is what the bundle looks like before I open it.
My samples. On the left half are the onion skins pot, I always get best results with onion. The top five to the right are the flax results.
My old metal bolts, wrap silk around them and tie. This is the result.
You know that bundle? Well here are some of the clothes I dyed yesterday. I was so happy with my results. I had longed for some new clothes, so I took myself off to Savemart, Porirua's big second hand clothing warehouse and purchased some marked white tops for around $4-$7 each. All cotton or linen. My white t-shirt I found at the nursing students garage sale the other day for $1. I have NEVER bought white clothes, can't stand them, but now I LOVE THEM. This one sat in the rust tray for an extra day. This cool effect came from onion skins and one iron bolt. It gives off these great green colours from khaki, lime, olive and browns. My favourite colours, these manky ones. My mum might be pleased I am not wearing black. A one off designer top for $1!
This is my fave top, dyed in NZ flax flowers (aka harakeke) and with eucalyptus ecoprint as shown to me by India Flint. The silk at the bottom is an ecoprint of eucalyptus that I sewed on. The leaves dyed the fabric a pretty apricot colour and leave their print as seen below in detail. Cost: $3.95.
The next is my other favourite. My cotton cardi which is all slouchy and doesn't photograph very nicely but envelopes my body like a soft wrap. Cost: $4.95.
Notice the collar detail. That's my shibori stitched silk velvet that I had to turn into a 3D project as part of an assignment. Well once my body fills this out, I think I have invented a new dimension.
My little son's t-shirt. My eldest doesn't like them but my youngest ran off to find a t-shirt to stick in the pot. He came back with one of his big brothers t-shirts. His request: "Make it munted mum, that's cool". So we found the munty-est piece of rusted iron, wrapped it and this is the result. "Will it be dry for tomorrow?" he asked. Guess what someone is wearing to school tomorrow.
detail of markings and dye. I love this dye process because it is non-toxic and FREE. Plus these are my earthy colours that I love.

Today we had to create a mock-up garment in 3D using coloured paper. Mine was interesting because it didn't even come close to a garment. More like a strappy thing with three big flowers. The fact it was paper wasn't a problem, it was the fact it was coloured. I don't do colour.
Jeanette Scharing came to speak today. She is a textile artist and her work is unique to say the least. She has been studying for 11 years full-time, now that is commitment.
She alters silk to make a pliable 'skin-like' fabric. She uses natural dyes too and will be doing a two day intensive soon.
Detail of her cloth.
She does interesting things with embroidery on her seaweed like fabric.
A fellow classmate holds it up to the light. Isn't that dancer-like sillouhette beautiful?
Below, self-portrait challenge. The texture of the cloth is interesting, soft, waxy, cool to the skin. I liked it. It's odd and I love odd.
My colleague and the only male in the textiles department, Chris. Look at my taonga (treasure). Deb, my tutor waited until the end of the day before she handed these out because she knew we'd be gone and totally distracted with India's book, "Eco Colour.

India, your book is a delight. We all caressed and coddled our books. Notice I am wearing my favourite necklace my mother gave me, my 'new' clothes and a big smile.

Thank you to all of you sending through emails and encouragement.

3 comments:

tumbleweed said...

the T shirts look fabulous...it's what I love about plant dyes, that one can gather a few bits and pieces and make simple magic.and i'm glad you like the book!
jeanette's work is amazing, too...especially how the silk behaves after it has been impregnated with wax. somehow it looks as though it has been flayed from a body (especially the red pieces)

Robyn said...

I'm amazed at the beautiful colours you get from different plants and rusty bolts etc.

Such an interesting post (as usual).

Ro Bruhn said...

Your dyed fabric looks fabulous, love it all, thanks for sharing.