Most natural dyers say ‘time is your friend’ and encourage you to leave bundles soaking for weeks before opening for the colors to deepen. Normally I can’t wait that long to see the results and don’t leave them for longer than a few days! So going overseas was an ideal opportunity to leave them soaking.
I had a mordanted (alum and cream of tartar) pre loved cream blanket
that I bundled into a sausage shape with Eucalyptus cinerea.
I boiled it in a brass preserving pan for several hours and left it soaking while we were away.
After 2 months there was some mould on the top
but it did have some deep colorings.
It was exciting opening it and this is the result, washed and dry.
I was surprised that some of the background color stayed a creamy/beige color, specially on the inside of the bundle. I am guessing the liquid did not penetrate that far. Maybe I should have rolled it wet?
I have not boiled a whole blanket with eucalyptus like this before so can not comment on whether the results are different, but I was pleased with the variety of markings.
I cut the blanket up and made cushions backed with other natural dyed blanket of a solid color, I even mastered button holes and used recycled buttons. I struggled using the synthetic polyester inner! I had also made other cushions of dyed silk and used a recycled mans shirt as the backing, (no need for buttonholes!!) an idea gleaned from my artist friend Charlotte Giblin of Bouncing Pig.
Half of them sold at the recent ‘Dio Day Out’, a fundraiser for the local Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. My friend David Lloyd has his sub tropical garden, with zany sculptures, studio and gallery open for visitors. There were several other artists exhibiting including David with his recycled wood works, Fiona Tunnicliffe from Putaruru with her signature pottery animals, Travis Taylor, a Graffiti artist and Jennie De Groot a modern impressionist painter. Jennie is a very productive painter and has an amusing blog called The Distracted Painter
Here are other photos of the gallery taken by Jennie De Groot