|Sunflowers on a farm in NH|
|Black walnuts rescued from my local hiking trail|
My most recent adventures have been primarily with black walnuts but also with leaves and sunflowers. Here is the (first) one with sunflowers. You can see that bolt of PFD china silk in the upper left hand corner.
I started by dipping the silk in an iron bath: The iron bath is water and white vinegar in a glass container with some rusty objects. After about a week of steeping, it was a light orange color. So I dipped about a yard of the silk in it and squeezed it out. Wearing gloves, of course!
|Steamer with the silk piece and some Hanji paper pieces|
I am totally in love with the resulting patterns and colors. I believe that the dark navy/purple parts were stained with the dark center seeds and that the other parts produced the orange stains. Now I am itching to stitch and wear this. I've done some research and I'm fairly comfortable that these are safe to use for clothing. For more on this subject, check out this very helpful post from India Flint, as well as this one from Alpenglow Yarn.
Meanwhile I've returned to my black-walnut-dyed silk pieces with plans to make something. The variety of results is endlessly interesting to me. This one was folded and steeped in leftovers from last year. I am amazed to see the pink colors and have no idea what caused it. I was not expecting much from year-old black walnut juice. But silk is magical.
|Folded, clamped and dyed with year-old black walnut juice|
This next piece was folded and clamped between two pieces of glass. It was steeped in a plastic container also for about a week. Perhaps the plastic inhibited the color transfer, or maybe the clamping was especially effective as a resist.
So now I must make something.