Thursday 11 August 2016

Slow Progress.

I have finished all the pages of my book at last.

You have seen the other page so I haven't included it here.   I carefully decided in which order I wanted them and wrote tiny numbers in the top corner of each page.   The only trouble is that now I have completed the hand sewing round each border, I have covered up the numbers!  All I have to do now is make the cover - when I have made up my mind what sort of cover to make.  I must try to press my pages again before I bind them into the cover.   All that hand stitching has creased and puckered them.

Something else I have tried recently is eco-dyeing.   I followed instructions given in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.   The artist who wrote the article dyed papers, but I wanted to try fabric.   Mine were all cotton fabrics of one sort or another.   The artist recommended putting torn up foliage in the bottom of the dye pan - I used comfrey leaves and I think they have dulled everything.  If I try it again I might leave out the layer of foliage.   Plant material was layered between each piece of fabric, then folded to encase everything, clips being used top and bottom of each parcel to hold it all in place, and string tied around the middle part.   White vinegar is added to the boiling water and the bundles are held down with a heavy stone while they simmer for 90 minutes.  I left them for 2 days after taking them out of the water and before unwrapping them.
When I first unwrapped everything it all looked so dark and rather like Army camouflage material.
Though I did get some interesting marks.
The colours haven't come out at all well in my photos,  I got some lovely blue/purple shades, and a few soft yellows.   I used fuchsia flowers, marigolds, elderberries, blueberries and various leaves.  Everything is greener than it appears here and some of the pieces might be useful on my workshop with Frances Pickering next month.
By the time I had rinsed, dried and ironed my fabrics they were beginning to look a bit more attractive.   I wonder if the time of year affects the colours achieved?   It would be interesting to try in springtime and see if I got lighter shades.