small miracles, continued

 hammering the leaves into the cloth, it felt like a rather violent act, but then I said to self: you have poured boiling water over leaves in the past for dyeing (although I must confess to having had qualms about it if I'm totally honest, not that those qualms kept me from it)
it is an interesting, very direct dyeing technique I learned about in India Flint's book Eco Colour; I used three different types of leaves here: hazel, ivy and sorrel of which the last two gave the best results, especially the ivy; the sap content has a big influence on the result it would seem, all three leaves were freshly picked. I folded the fabric double and sandwiched the leaf in between, hammered the leaf on both sides on the fabric, which I had placed on a piece of wood, using both a small metal hammer and a wooden one
in the case of the hazel leaf there were also lice on the leaf, they alas perished in the process and added to the overall look: they became the spots; I wasn't thinking about them when hammering it was only later that I realized what had happened, what's done is done

I decided not to wash the cloth, will wait and see how it develops....the cloth I used was a previously dyed one where I had experimented with flour-resist and black bean dye (of the latter I am unsure) It has a waxy feel to it
for more inspiration on the subject of leaves: visit Susan's blog fiber art and craft

 the weather has been just perfect these past couple of days and life is lived mostly on the verandah 
 after dinner I went for an evening walk, the light is so enticing
without asking I picked him up to make this picture and when I wanted to put him down he fell to the earth! I was aghast, what had I done? Thankfully he landed on his feet and he hopped away from me(back to where he had come from, so maybe the wrong direction...) okay it seemed he was unhurt; relieved I got up off my knees to continue my walk. No sooner had I turned my back on him than a dog wandered past me in the direction of the toad and I was like: oh no, be careful, watch out for the tiny toad, please don't step on him. All these thoughts in my head mind you. Around the next bend two girls on horseback heading towards the tiny creature, oh my was he going to survive? All of these dangers on this his first crossing of the footpath, I checked on him when I came back: there was no sight of him so I'm hoping this one got away safely

stood here at exactly 9:08 pm





Nancy said…
I love seeing the verandah :)
I felt the same way, a long time back, when I hammered flowers. I felt like such a meany! The cloth came very fine indeed though...a nice long cloth if you choose to leave it that way. Hope the little guy made it!
Saskia said…
oh Nancy, we can only hope really.....was there a thought/emotion in his brain when I picked him up - other than terror! -
again a question of perspective, of scale: to a giant I would seem small, insignificant even...the giant would probably ask himself: does she have a brain? haha
Marti said…
When I discovered India's way of getting leaf and blossom imprints, Hapa Zome, I had to try it. At the time, we were living in a tiny town in Tennessee, quiet, Baptist town, if you get my drift. So there I was foraging for leaves to pound, nothing was safe from me, not my tomato leaves, geranium petals, etc. Large tomato leaves with so much chlorophyll were especially wonderful. Over time, I developed a rhythm to pounding and would chant as I worked. I would sit on my garage concrete floor, cloth on top of newspapers then a plastic cover over the materials on the cloth and pound away, with a small hammer.

Did I give a thought to what I was doing in terms of the plant material, well no because it was a wonderful way to release tension and stress and the results were instant and so gratifying. Actually, I had done this on the walkway right outside my front door but the weird looks that I got from the neighbors convinced me to take it into the garage. They probably thought they had a heathen in their midst,but I'll never know if it was the pounding or my voice chanting that bothered them!

With respect to my cloths, maybe because I was new to dyeing with cloth but the several cloths that I did in this manner, did not hold the imprint for more than a year. Still it was a good experience.
Mo Crow said…
the frisson of danger for the small one in that summer light and love your evening crossroads
Saskia said…
LOL Marti at the thought of you sitting there chanting and pounding...and the looks on your neighbours' faces.....oh this dyeing adventrue does bring one to strange & miraculous places!

I know Mo, to think he's complete and perfect and so small and that his life is dangerous at such a tender age.....all our lives are full of hazards of course, but at least we have parents for quite some time....again it is a question of perspective, but still encountering such a tiny toad makes me wonder and carry on pondering......
Heather said…
So many beautiful pictures, and that sweet little black furry face! If only we could protect all the creatures of the earth with such love as you have.
Anonymous said…
you have such a big heart!
Saskia said…
hi Heather and Dee, well I don't know about the big heart, but I do notice stuff....small creatures struggling (and big ones like us too!)
I am moved by these things
jan said…
Ooooh love the ivy prints you've made! Fantastic results. Am tempted to have a go; I've got some ivy in the garden. And it looks like you're having a lovely summer. x
Saskia said…
yes Jan, the weather was good, today drizzle but hey, that's Holland. The leaf-beating results are excellent, however I do understand they probably won't last...well it's an experiment and I just have to keep on trying



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