3.4.10

Yellow

Happy April! Thank you for the comments on the red onion post. A week of exposure to light and the green on the cotton quickly faded to yellow. The browns seem much more lightfast.

Here's a bit of fresh, spring colour from a berberis shrub. Many thanks to Lisa who noticed the bright colour in the twigs when clearing her garden and sent me some to dye with.

I soaked the twigs for a few days, peeled off the bark and cooked the whole thing to extract the dye. It's the brightest yellow in my notebook so far. The green silk also had a dip in indigo.

berberis

I've been poring over the old dyeing manuals in the Archive. Although some of them were written before the chemistry of indigo was understood, they gave me a clearer idea of what fermentation vats look like at different stages as they mention details that modern dyebooks don't. I also enjoyed reading about Hellot's 18th century experiments:
I have myself prepared, as I observed, these three Vats in miniature, in cylindrical glass vessels, exposed to the light, in order to observe the effect before the infusion acquired colour, viz. before it became green under the scum or blue on the surface which is a sign of interior fermentation.

My miniature vats have gone sour or 'run away' as one of the dyebooks calls it but I've restarted them in the 21st century 'cylindrical glass vessels' and am watching and waiting.

9 comments:

Lisa Stevens said...

Yay! So glad that you got a result! If you ever wnat some more...I have two in the front garden that need clearing! lol

A bird in the hand said...

The colours are so beautiful. Well done!

Mona said...

Considering lightfastness, in my experience (with regular onion) the more shells I use the more lightfastness. I've dyed a quite dark fox brown and I haven't noticed any alteration or fading of the colour over time (at least two years). I'm looking forward to try the red onion, must eat a lot of onion pies!

ger said...

Watching + waiting, that´s nice... - wishing you happiness + prosperity, too... ;)

dorie said...

Like the way you'e doing your research. Good to make some notes. I'll have a look in the Archive too, sounds interesting. I always want to know the why's and the how's - happy April too!

Fringe said...

Those colors are so very spring-like. Sunny, happy, full-of-promise colors. Just gorgeous!

I love all of your pieces, and I'm so happy to see your beautiful new website. I can't tell you how much I adore your work...I have some of your very first Etsy pieces...

xo
Dennice

Rachel Follett said...

Very cool and interesting about indigo. Love the sketchbook!

Inge said...

Eva, very intersting blog. I love your sketch book and hope to see more of it. Thank you for sharing your experiments. Have a good week, Inge

michele said...

i love your dyeing experiments! so much fun to watch. and you are so good about keeping careful notes.