Carol Sloan here.
I am a real nature lover.
I love to hike out in the woods, sit by a rushing river (or a quiet river), kayak, ride my bike down a country road...anything related to getting outside catches my attention.
I also have been a lifelong leaf, rock and bark collector (dead bugs and dried bones but we won't go there right now).
I have tried a few experiments with natural dyeing over the years but never had much luck until last year - when I got really serious about figuring it out.
I purchased India Flint's book, "Eco Colour", and checked out every book at the local library that I could find on the subject.
I did Google searches and read blog entry after blog entry (and there are a lot of natural dyeing blogs out there), all the while taking copious notes.
I experimented for several months, getting little to no results but I kept on trying.
After months of trying all sorts of things, I finally hit pay dirt!
I live in South Carolina (USA) and in my corner of the state, we can grow eucalyptus trees. Sometimes if it gets too cold, they will get a little burned but they usually do pretty good.
These are a few of the results that I got with dyeing silk, cotton and paper with leaves from a local tree.
|This is linen fabric. I know that it is much more|
difficult to get color on anything other than silk.
|Finally! Spectacular color after many, many tries!|
Eucalyptus on silk
|Different colors from eucalyptus on silk.|
|Yet one more color from eucalyptus on silk. I love the small fern in the |
upper right hand corner of the piece.
|I didn't look at my notes but I think that this eucalyptus|
has a little walnut color on it (or onion skin).
|Black Walnut leaves left a gorgeous print on this cotton sheeting.|
|A variety of leaves were used on this cotton.|
The next two prints are pieces of cotton fabric that were facing each other with leaves sandwiched in between them. I love the different looks that I got!
What I really loved was the color and prints that I got from leaves on watercolor & vellum bristol papers.
I gathered a ton of leaves, all kinds of varieties (both plant and tree) and spent several days experimenting with them.
I am totally in love with the results & completely in love with the imprinted memory of those glorious leaves
on the paper.
And I can't wait to do more of it this year!
I am using the papers to make beautiful books full of memories of the forests that the leaves came from.
|300 pound watercolor paper|
I just noticed the face in the lower left hand corner.
I am not sure what kind of glasses she has on...
|300 pound watercolor paper|
The prints looked a little different on the vellum bristol paper versus the watercolor paper but I like them equally.
|This is a close-up of one area of the paper.|
I love the bright green color!
|The full page from the above close-up|
|The green color on the left side is from a|
huge dandelion plant!
Can you believe that?
I tried free fall leaves (litter from the ground), fresh leaves from the trees as well as weeds and leaves from the garden.
(Addendum - some of the tree leaves are from a local farm that my husband and I hike at).
Here is a miniature book that has the pages made from scraps of this paper.
I painted a small piece of some other paper to use for the cover.
It's just a little bigger than a quarter.
This is the kind of thing that I do when I want to do something creative but I can't figure out what, when I am trying to get out of working on a deadline project and/or there is housework to be done...
I hope that you all are finding small ways to avoid housework, I mean exercise your creativity on a daily basis.
I certainly am!