I knew it had been too long since I'd made a blog entry but hadn't realized it had been just under a year! It's time to begin writing again.
After a winter of creating felted tapestries, dolls, animals, bowls, hats and gnomes I switched to my new summer passion - eco printing. Last October I took a class in which we eco printed felted hats we'd made. I eco printed a few more felted items and silk scarves until the first hard freeze and then the leaves were gone for the season. But as soon as I noticed the wild geranium leaves turning green under the melting snow I began eco printing again. I experimented with many, many leaves from my yard and garden, from along the alleyway behind our house, and from trees and bushes along my daily wanderings. I eco printed on cotton, silk and wool but found that eco printing silk scarves produced the most vibrant colors and designs. Then I tried eco printing on watercolor paper and was hooked on that as well.
As the summer progressed I began experimenting with natural dye stuffs on cotton and silk clothing and on the silk scarves. At first I found it disappointing to print on top of a dyed background but then I was fortunate to be able to attend a week long workshop in Boulder, Colorado taught by Irit Dulman, who has perfected the art of eco print on dyed fabrics. After that workshop my results were so much better. I printed over 60 scarves this summer, each one unique and one of a kind.
A few weeks ago I dyed fabric with local goldenrod and was amazed at the brilliant, rich yellow the blossoms produced. Then I learned that one could dye with avocado pits and peels and discovered that they yield a soft peach color. And just today I dyed two scarves in marigold dye, the blossom harvested from my garden. The scarves dyed to a deep, golden color and are lovely with the eco printed leaves.
I've purchased dye plant seeds and soon will be putting them into the ground to germinate in the spring. I look forward to making more dyes from fresh blossoms and leaves that I have cultivated. Then, once it freezes, I shall turn back to felting. I plan to work on perfecting my skill at making nuno felted vests and jackets and at creating inviting landscapes. More whimsical hats would be fun to create as well.
I'm so pleased to have found two mediums that inspire me and keep me growing and learning and that work through the rhythm of the seasons and nature. I am blessed.