I finally took the opportunity to eco-print with my fresh eucalyptus over the weekend. Whole Foods surprised me last week with a small selection of eucalyptus branches. I recognized the shape immediately, and I was told by the manager of the floral department that they would be stocking eucalyptus through the Thanksgiving holidays.
Gathering my previously mordanted fabric scraps (wool and silk), I got a pot boiling and steamed the wool and silk, after laying out the eucalyptus leaves, along with a few wild rose leaves. I was pleased with the results, particularly the small scrap of dupioni silk (below, right). The wool was not as clearly printed (right), but I noted that my handmade white pre-felt was uneven in texture.
Not willing to quit while I was ahead, I decided to print two camisoles that I had previously mordanted and stored in the refrigerator this summer.
Both the silk camisole and sweet gathered cotton top printed well. They included eucalyptus, rose and geranium leaves.
The fact is, I am not all that pleased with my SunMoonStars cloth. It doesn’t look like I wanted it to be, like I had imagined it to be. Perhaps I was imagining cloth similar to Spirit Cloth’s many lovely versions by Jude Hill. Or perhaps like the ones I have seen within her Circle of friends.
I may need to begin again. Start over. With new/old cloth.
But in the meantime, I hauled in two big scores this week: black walnut hulls and florist’s eucalyptus. Thank you, my son, Matt–for the walnuts. Thank you, Whole Foods, for finally stocking fresh eucalyptus.
I will be dyeing, boiling and eco-printing tomorrow. And thinking about a new constellation for SunMoonStars.
My 9-patch is slowly blooming with suns, moons and just a few stars. Stars have always been tricky for me. I usually cheat and make the Jewish star with two triangles. But here, for the 9-patch, no cheating. A star made with bits and pieces. And a growing constellation.
Patching together a slow-stitched journey to the Universe, I thought about Jude Hill’s idea of holes (Spirit Cloth)….looking through cloth to find stars. I had a difficult time finding textiles in my house with holes. But finally, a vintage, much-loved Huck towel with a few holes. Made-on-purpose holes and a few not. Thinking of adding to SunMoonStars as Constellations. Maybe. That means cutting the towel. Maybe next time.
Not knowing where to start is a frequent problem for me, no matter what type of art I am doing. There is always the question of color, design, thread. What colors look best together? What is my overall plan? Should I use regular DMC cotton, Perle cotton, or some fancy silk thread? This is what bogs me down.
So Friday eve, I began to attach cloth scrap to cloth scrap. Thinking about design but not really planning. And I came up with two pieces:
These were meant to be vertical strips of cloth. The sun has been on my mind, or lack of sun. So gray skies with barely visible moons and a sun trying so hard to break through. But then I realized these pieces didn’t feel right for what I had in mind. Back to Spirit Cloth–ah, plan a design? Sketch it out? Hmm I don’t do that. Ever. But I can start.
At 9pm, when I am usually reading, I grabbed the remainder of my Bengala dyes set (these Japanese-made mineral dyes are so fast and easy!) and proceeded to dye 4-inch squares of cotton cloth. Enough for a 9-patch. On Saturday, I ironed and heat set the marbled designs. Pinned and ready for SunMoonStars.