Saturday, 26 October 2013

for Grace

is this the one you meant Grace?
top strip of mauve fabric added 'later' I think it works, a lot of reflections in piece and on glass.....

the mauve is cotton, soy mordant, dipped into acorn-tin-can dye overnight with coins clamped


I call this one 'the small house (sewn with two shades of pink)'
I'm now thinking what if I did a whole bunch of these and laid them out on the floor of an empty space (which I don't have)
a flat pack home of sorts, make do, temporary living, tents....moving moving, lots of associations from such a small piece

these last three pics and the top one are of a piece of cloth I had forgotten about, it was in a zinc container with all sorts in it outside for quite some time; it had become covered in black bean stains and rusty marks, I didn't like it and overdyed it with clamped coins in the acorn-tin-can dye and then it was just more stain-like and way too dark, but not quite dark enough; I was rinsing it and feeling quite unsatisfied with the results and as I had just been cleaning the toilet with bleach (oh we artists lead such an adventurous life) I said to self: why not try and bleach it? and so I did, and I do like it now 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


went to the vet's on Monday and this afternoon, it's bad news I'm afraid; Tungsten's blood values show his red blood cell count is way too high and today this reading was confirmed with an ultrasound, one of his kidney's in a bad way, all this means is that T is not well, he's lost weight because he doesn't want to eat much (always a bad sign with a labrador, the main reason in fact I decided to go to the vet) there's no real treatment, anything that could be done would only be a postponement of the inevitable; what really hurts is the fact that we have to decide for him when enough is enough
I stitched a dog even before basting on the right, I had to give form to the ache

basting follows cloth
I follow dog

Saturday, 19 October 2013


 today is what i would call an excellent day, the sun is shining, it has a freshness only autumn brings, there are many colours still and walking outdoors is delightful, the dog loves autumn, so that too is a big plus in my book; he enjoys being out there and then coming back indoors to the woodburner and snoring away an afternoon, we share many hours together, i'm busy and he's fast asleep near my feet or awake watching me, oftentimes he's guarding the garden and barking at passers-by, warning me and them

forever I associate these blue-prints with the sea and therefore with Denmark as that is where I was as a child in summertime, or so it seems; memory is funny and arbitrary; it doesn't matter..this is how the story telling works and why for me the cloth becomes meaningful in ways no one else would see; I do hope others see their own story, of course

squares stamped with the walnut dye

clamp resist (well that was the intention) in the dye resulting from the water used for soaking the acorns (the shelled acorns I used for making flour), the soaking extracts the tannins, to which was added a rusty tin can which stood in the pot for appr. a week, the acorn-iron-dye turns fabric mauve! now that is an exciting result; the darker bit was a pre-dyed bit, cannot remember what it was in before

the organized chaos on the work bench

note the print of Jude's post the other day with her quote: 'Art might simply be the awareness of how we might create self. That we do. What happens, and then, what we do about it. The story. And the expression of that.'

what we do

 an expression of self: a small cloth over-dyed with the acorn-iron-dye with coins clamped, what a result a landscape with the moon's journey across the skies

hiding behind what I do

Friday, 18 October 2013



this small cloth simply titled 'the Hare' is a birthday present for J. (not my science friend) another J who's partner N gave me the Press

same Hare-piece hanging....

and yet again how a piece might happen, printed and dyed cloth coming together

this is what autumn looks like in the misty mornings
present for self found this morning

still do not have a title for this one, it is done though

i've incorporated a printed sun and stamped a vague square background for the sun, which btw is stitched with a running stitch without knots

as i'm trying to make dyes with plants found locally (well apart from the black beans) and my intent is on making a dye as ecologically friendly as i'm able to, now with expert advice from friend J. i got to thinking what if i also tried to make my own paper and cloth from local plants, i mean why NOT?
this idea popped into my head as i was driving back home and in my mind an image surfaced overlaying the surrounding landscape: it was that of a map of this area, the Dutch 'polder' landscape where the canals and fields intersect and form a tapestry of oblong shapes on the face of the earth, and how i might well turn this into a print, which could be pressed upon the fabric/paper with the home made dye......then my mind raced on to the thought of making paper and fabric possibly from the same would be a lot of work; it's an idea i can keep at the back of my mind though; i do like the idea of superimposing prints of maps onto the grids, or maybe it's the other way round: first make the print, print onto fabric then sew the grids....anyway enough ideas to keep me busy for the forseeable future

for now: here's a pic of a print on paper made with the acorn (left) and the walnut/bb dye; neither of them very dark, i have tried boiling both the dyes down to see if the colour intensified: nope

cooking & sleeping: looks like Tungsten's got the hang of Grace's WhatIf-post today!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

promised you black and white for today; take a piece of wood, apply paint with roller or brush; place the wood on the cardboard which is used to guide the rolling of the printable paper/fabric through the press; place piece of fabric/paper on top of wood, place another bit of guiding cardboard, start rolling your sandwich through the press 

don your specs in order to better see the results
white on left and black print on the right, the lighter spots seem more dominant in the photo than in real life, the lighting is pretty lousy indoors today and going out is not an option: we've had rain non-stop since last night, it has been grey and dark all day

I thought I might try out a smaller version; I've printed the same bit 4 times on the fabric, with a 90 degrees twist with each print resulting in a puzzle square!

My good friend J. popped over this afternoon to give me a private chemistry class!! pretty exciting huh; as I have mentioned before, I sucked at chemistry in school and now that I'm into dyeing I have finally discovered that it can be a really cool and interesting subject and more importantly it has become relevant to my life (of course it has always been that, just not so that I'ld notice) It's not so much that I want to know everything there is to know about chemistry, I want to get to grips with the dyeing. There are just so many things I don't really understand. Today I have learnt about acids and alkalines and ph neutral and your everyday table salts, ahem. The plusses and minusses of the elements are attracted to each other and why and how dyes would want to attach themselves to animal and vegetable fibres in different ways has all to do with how the fibres are built up. Why a fabric might need a mordant. How to fix the dye?! What's the point of wanting to understand? For me, I hope it will help me achieve better dyeing results, it's a lot of fun doing it with her as she knows so much and together we're learning about the mysteries of dyeing.

 immediately we were surprised by this latest result: the brown-greys can be explained by the acorn shell dye, but the turquoise, where did that come from?
the turquoise squares are obviously a result of the clamp-resist, but why we do not know; the dye pot is aluminium and the clamp is iron with rubber tips; in the last batch with button-clamp-resist in the same pot, same clamp there was no such effect. This is a still a riddle. I will be attempting more clamping in the same dye and see what the results will be next week.
by the way: we do like the blue