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Four Sisters

July 30, 2015
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Hello! It’s still summer school holidays here, minus the summer. I have promised (myself) to finally do some DIY in the house at this time of the year as I tend to have bigger blocks of time free when children have no activities in the afternoons/evenings to drive them to and fro. And very soon we are expecting lovely family visitors as well which will be  perfect excuse for short trips around and to the nature. So there has not been much textile related creativity, except dipping fibres of all sorts into my indigo vat. In fact, now I have two, one for very light blues and another for dark shades. I will show you later.

Today, photos from the last lot of items made from eco printed fabric, some from long time ago. I sew them back in June and they are now in the Gallery on The Skye, I have just been slow at editing pictures.

pouches

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pouch

 

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purse

 

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eco printed

 

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pouch

 

 

 

pillows

July 8, 2015

This first linen cushion cover is another in my Memory of the Place series. I mordanted the fibre in the North Sea on a rare beautiful summer day and printed it with flowers and leaves collected from around the beach.

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linen cushion cover

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The following fabrics were printed with plants growing literally at my doorstep

silk cushion cover

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silk pillow

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cotton pillow

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I feel somewhat tired, almost like spent. I have noticed that dyeing tends to spur me creatively, sewing – as much as I like it – seems to spend it. Another thing I have recently noticed is how at times I don’t like the slow side of the techniques I use. It’s as if I couldn’t express myself quickly enough because I am using wrong language. It comes and goes, more often when I am making utilitarian pieces.

July 4, 2015

The last few weeks have been very busy. With school holidays fast approaching I wanted to finish as much as I could, especially sewing from eco printed fabrics. I have made few new tops, pouches and cushion covers. Here are the blouses, all from silk.

eco printed clothes

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This one is a raglan sleeve with a V neckline to complement the pattern on the printed fabric and the lighter colour in the middle.

I prefer to print fabric first and then sew, I feel I can work better around the print in this way.

raglan  sleeves

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raglan sleeve top

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This is silk pongee, the back is longer and made from two slightly different fabrics.

silk blouse

silk blouse

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The last one is with cap sleeves and a wider fit.

silk top

memory

June 22, 2015

Two small mixed media pieces, combining paper & fabrics printed with plants and some indigo dyed linen and thread

The memory of the place

eco print on paper

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2b

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3b

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4b

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The sense of place

eco print

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5b

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3b

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2b

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They are loosely connected to thoughts on

memories

words remember and forget

and how what we do & don’t do with memories

is shaping us over the time.

Paper and print

June 11, 2015
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I am enjoying printing on paper. As usual first few trials are time consuming and messy until i get organized and know at least a little what to do to get at least somewhere. Right now I  feel drawn to making pieces which are less utilitarian, not needing to think about washing, seams etc. just in search of an image, ideally abstract or semi or evocative in some way.

abstract print

paper print

thank you

June 8, 2015

Thank you for all your comments to the previous post and I apologize for such a late post! I have enjoyed reading and been thinking about your words as the days passed and I immersed myself into printing and dyeing. I have found that the more time I spend doing my own thing the clearer it becomes to me what I want to do next/what excites me/I like/I am drawn to. And the more I focus on that the happier I feel. And, surprisingly, I can appreciate other’s work even more & better.

Nancy, as you mentioned, I too would tend to be quite deliberate. The older I get the more time I spend just  thinking about what I am going to do rather then doing. But it’s usually those less planned pieces I love the most. So I hope to deliberately cut back on thinking time and make more room  for just playing. It’s then when we discover.  You plan one thing, another happens. We notice – what we like, what we don’t; it helps us to move from one place to another, helps with direction.

Today I want to share a little experiment I did the other day. My colleague does flower arrangements mostly for weddings so I get a lot of rose leaves on a regular basis. They contain tannins and I thought I could try to dye with them. The leaves and some stalks were chopped and cooked for about an hour then left in the pot overnight.

rose leaves in the pot

Next day I heated the bath and mixed in a small tsp of iron, rusty water could be used but I have none at the moment. In went various fibres, simmered for about 40 min and left overnight. Here are the colours.

rose leaves dyeing

 

The background cloth is very fine linen, it’s steel grey. So is the viscose jersey and viscose tops – bottom left. Silk habotai and dupion on the top left are deeper mid grey. Wool fabric middle top and merino fibre bottom right are khaki grey. The green in the centre is wool fabric and a puzzle, I don’t know why green, was it somehow treated in the production? 100 % wool yarn top right is the darkest, almost black (black brown, like the soil).

I think the colours would have been darker had I removed the leaves from the pot and the leaves had more room.

 

testing

May 23, 2015

 

The past week was about testing.  I ventured out in the nearest neighbourhood to collect weeds. For this I like to use an old book, pressing plants as I pick. For a small sample I only need few leaves and when I come home I just pop something heavy on top until I have time to bundle and dye. Here is one of the samples. I am afraid I have yet to find out names of some of these – the russet print at the top is from hot pink flowers and red green leaves from a tree. The orange brown leaf on the right is Eucalyptus Erythrocorys I am growing indoors in the pot.

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testing plants

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I also tested printing on paper and am loving it.

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paper print

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acer

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maple

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paper print

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Fabrics from the week before were washed and ironed, here are few photos of the ones from previous post.

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berries

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roses
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berries
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There is some amazing eco print done at the moment, seen especially on Facebook. It’s so inspiring and temps to be tried, one has to be careful not to loose head and/or forget what it is that she wanted to say. At times I find it a challenge and wonder how to stay true to ourselves in the midst of all the – often very good and positive and inspiring – on-line noise, yet not to listen to it so much that we ignore our inner voice.

I would tend to take long time off looking at what others do save for few close friends. While it helps to hush it’s not the best defence. Even from just watching other people’s work we can learn a lot, if nothing else than just see what is possible. So cutting myself off of this opportunity is a loss in a way. I would love to know your thoughts on this if you can spare a minute.

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