Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Colours to Dye for... Pt 4 - I achieve my Holy Grail

believe it or not the above is a picture of my personal Holy Grail. For more years than I care to admit - but going back to City and Guilds days - and I finished that course in 2000, I have been seeking the perfect shade of AUBERGINE (US readers that translates to EGGPLANT). This photo on my screen looks a little brown - but in real life it truly is aubergine. Can you tell I am a little mad about this colour gggg...

I have achieved burgundies, or shades of purple, or brownish burgundies - but never AUBERGINE. The piece to the left of the Aubergine is a very pale version , then a piece of viscose/silk velvet dyed with greys and then a piece of silk - in which the red took hold very quickly and the blue washed away - so no aubergine on the silk. I know now, how silk reacts differently to procion than cotton.

There is a little story to my aubergine:

When we as a team resorted our final samples after our marathon sample dyeing exercises, we had one missing. We'd pressed them all and sorted into order.

Looked and looked and couldn't find it. I then decided to go back into the dye room and have a look there. The samples were small - maybe one had fallen under the table. I found a bucket of red that had not been emptied. I emptied it and there was our missing fabric. It was then washed and dried and there it was. The PERFECT shade - my long sought Aubergine.

Can you imagine how happy I was. I know had a recipe for Aubergine and I understood why I had not acheived it before.

I wondered at times - before I left home - whether I was not a little mad to be flying over to the USA for a colour / dyeing course. All I can say was that the course and I were destined to come together one day.

As a friend wrote to me today. The ability to be precise gives me huge freedom. it certainly does.


Colours to Dye for... Pt 3 results

Part way through our dyeing - a batch out of the dryer. This was a magical week. colour everywhere... I was truly in heaven - and not the only one who thought so.

We wandered around the room ooohhhing and aaahhhing at the contents of all those buckets.

Some oranges and yellows etc etc - THE END result... Part of the story. To give all credit to Carol and her awesome course I will not show any more detail.

A gradation of green.

Colours to Dye for... Pt 2

Beautiful tall trees alongside the barn. Lovely countryside.

This is the fabulous wet room where we did our dyeing.

We were awash with buckets, bottles and tubs. For water, soda, salt and dye.

We stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred. We even did relay stirring - we needed even colour not mottled. It seemed like a chore - but we made it fun and had an ace timekeeper in Kay (on our team) and it was most definately worth all the effort.

Colours to Dye for... Pt 1

This is Nancy Crows Gorgeous Barn. It is where I spent a week recently, studying with Carol Soderlund. The barn has a fabulous wet room for dyeing etc, a classroom alongside and upstaris there is a gorgeous studio for stitching and non wet work, and also a kitchen and dining room. We were fed the most delicious food cooked up each day for lunch and dinner by Margaret - who flies over from Seattle to cater for the classes that Nancy runs at the barn. Margaret also 'cooked up' delicious snacks for afternoon tea.

The Course we studied was 'Colour Mixing for Dyers'. Carol is a superb and passionate teacher. Her passion really is colour and everyone really seemed to catch the colour bug. We were learning to control our colour mixing in a more precise way than I've ever come across with creative dyeing before.

This is the fabulous classroom at our disposal for the week. 20 people on the course.

These sunflowers are made by Nancy Crow's husband - aren't they fabulous.