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Monday, June 04, 2012

Failure and Success

Over the past couple of months I've been relentlessy collecting colorful flower heads - garden (not too many), local florist (a few) and of all places, Safeway, (very kindly letting me sift through their discards) -- and freezing them to make ice flower prints (thank you Patricia!).  I had some leftover fabric already mordanted with alum from a fabulous Elin Noble marbelizing class just waiting for a project like this.  Since I work full time, things must get done in stages, so last weekend I created all sorts of bundles with the flowers in layers, put them in warm water and left them for a few days.  When I unwrapped them they were gorgeous but I didn't have time to do anything other than shake out the decomposing dead flowers and rinse before putting the fabrics in a large bowl to wait for this weekend - couldn't leave them out to dry since it rained quite heavily.  When I went to check this weekend I was in for a huge disappointment.  Note to self:  do NOT leave wet flower prints all bunched up or the color will dissolve and meld away.  All the lovely prints were gone and I was left with not what I had strived for but nevertheless attractive meld of greenish soft gold but not close to the beauties that they once had been.

Not wanting to ruin my silks - a medley of organza, habotai, etc., I thought this would be a good time to try an experiment that I've had in mind since seeing the silk tie prints on Easter eggs.  I layered the smaller pieces of damp silks with cut up silk ties in between the layers and tied them all up in a tight bundle before simmering in water with a splash of vinegar (used my dye pot, not a cooking pot).  What a lovely surprises when unwrapped!  I also thought I'd bundle a piece of vibrant torquoise blue sari silk with the larger piece of soft gold organza and the results are a quite lovely mottled blue/soft gold.  Now that I've seen the results, some of the prints are quite surprising with the reds staying quite vibrant, and I learned that the deeper colors turnout best.  Here are some pictures so you can see for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I have jsut finsihed my own blog post about this very concept!!! i am sorry taht your frozen flower prints did not survive but if they had you would not have gone on to do the silk dye transfer!!! How cool is that!! Bravo!! My post was all about remaking the nuno cheesecloth/ wool/ silk project into a nuno - wool/ cheesecloth scarf project!! There is so much we would not learn if we did not try all of these different things!!! Bravo!!