Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

More Rusted Weaving Experiments

Details of the different samples from the piece in this post.

Rusting Experiments Continued

Steel Wool Imbedded In Wool Felt:

As the Steel Wool rusts it falls out of the felt as iron oxide dust.  Eventually it will all be transformed to this dust, leaving only the stain on the wool where it once was.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rusting Experiments

"It is not a fault in the iron, but a virtue, to be so fond of getting rusted..." - John Ruskin

Fresh off the loom

After a day at the beach

After a couples weeks in the courtyard

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some things I've been looking at recently:

Phoebe Cummings, Flora, Unfired Clay
Part of Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design at M.A.D.
(lots of great work in this show)
Stephanie Metz, Damask Crow (detail), wool through paper using a felting needle
Stephanie Metz, Avicular #7, needle felted wool and hair
Metz's work is on view at Penland School of Crafts' Focus Gallery

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Natural Dye/Synthetic Dye Experiments

I have been working with natural dyes for the last few months and thinking about their tendency to fade and how I can use this as an advantage in my work instead of struggling against it.  I'm envisioning work dyed with matching natural and synthetic dyes that changes over the course of days, weeks or even years to expose hidden patterns or imagery.

For now I'm doing some simple experiments with a few of my favorite dyes to gauge how much time it takes each to fade and what the color change is.  And I also learned how difficult it can be to match the dyes exactly - this will take a lot more experimentation...

Dye Samples.  From left to right: no mordant, alum, iron, copper.
From Top to Bottom: Onion, Brazilwood, Turmeric, Blackberry.


I painted half of each sample with a synthetic dye, and also tried to match the color with an industry produced sewing thread.  All three layers were partially covered with a black paper resist so I would have a control area to compare to. Then the entire group was hung in my studio window to fade.  Its been a little over a week and I'm already getting some results:
Turmeric with no mordant sample before fading experiment began
Turmeric with no mordant after one week of direct sunlight exposure
Brazilwood with no mordant after one week of direct sunlight exposure
(bad matchup of synthetic dye to natural dye)

I'm not too surprised that the unmordanted colors showed the most fading first.  I was expecting the blackberry to be less fade resistant than the brazilwood, but its hardly faded at all.  Perhaps because it produced such an unsaturated color to begin with. I'm going to keep checking on the fading every week or so and will update the progress as I go.