Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Natural dyeing and basketry.

I have been quite busy lately creating new work from the things I have learned at my textile group. We did a workshop on dyeing fabric using items from around the home. In particular we used some fruits, vegetables, spices and plants. We dyed small pieces of fabric in each pot so we had a sample of the colors you could get. After I got home I realized it didn't appeal to me so I decided to use my samples in a couple of textiles for my journal because I didn't want to keep them for reference. 

I was inspired to do this pattern by my daughter. She used it to paint pretty triangles on her studio wall. I did it as a patchwork. Some of the fabrics here were dyed with turmeric, flowers and eucalyptus plants. I added gold thread for interest.

This pattern was inspired by a quilt pattern I saw. I am did not worry about matching up seams properly because it is small (letter size) and only for my journal.  I used a simple running stitch as an accent. The fabrics here were dyed with blueberries, cochineal beetles and plants.

My final piece from the dyed fabric samples was inspired by a japanese quilt I saw pictures of. I used the circle spiral design but then chose to add a quote. I accented it with a simple running stitch in a circular pattern.

Last month we learned basket making using paper. It is the same traditional techniques as cane basket making but we used paper rolls in place of the cane. There is a great video on Youtube that has the same technique we learned using newspaper.

This first one is what I did at the workshop. The paper used was an old catalogue from junk mail. I painted the rim after I got it messed up so you could paint over the whole thing if you wanted. I liked the colors so I left it plain.  

I was curious what papers would work for this technique so I decided to do another. I use white copy paper and some brown paper that was on a roll from the office supply store. The brown paper was thin like the catalogue and worked really well. The copy paper was a little thick and hard to work with. I also experimented with the shape to see how easy it was to bring the sides in and out. I like the way it turned out and think the brown paper almost looks like cane. I have varnished both baskets and now they are extremely solid. It surprised me how strong they are, even before I put the varnish on.

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