Monday, December 28, 2009

White Christmas

We went to see the stage show White Christmas. It was wonderful: not the deepest story I have ever seen but the music, singing and dancing were great.

There is snow forecast for next weekend, maybe even New Year's eve, not good for the people who will be standing out in Times Square for the ball to fall.

I will try to put up a couple of pictures of Central Park with snow. It was a few days after the snowfall but it has been cold, so it had not melted. It is gone now as it rained ALL DAY yesterday (I was very jealous on behalf of Melbourne).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whitish Christmas

Well, I arrived safely in New York last Sunday, just after the snow storm. We had a wait on the tarmac before we could disembark from the plane but at least we could fly in.
New York was covered in snow, looking lovely. It wasn't so good to walk around on the icy footpaths but mostly the snow had been cleared away and only some intersections were tricky.
I have taken photos of people (they all seemed to be men) clearing the snow away from footpaths, intersections and making spaces for people to get to the road from buildings. All very ho hum for people used to the snow but fun for me to look at.
When the snow is built up alongside the road, it is very hard for cars to find parking spaces. I would not like to try to find parking in any part of New York. Actually, I have no desire to try to drive here at all. It is fairly easy to get around by public transport. We have been using the buses mostly because we have not been in a hurry and you can see lots from the bus.
I went for a walk in Central Park and the snow was beautiful. I have taken some pictures but haven't tried putting any pictures on my friend's computer yet. Will maybe try later, or not.
We are going to see the stage play White Christmas - very appropriate.
Best wishes to my thousands of readers, Happy Christmas!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Christmas - perhaps

I'm sitting here, all packed to go to New York for Christmas. I am lucky enough to have a good friend living there and she has invited me over for a few weeks. I have just checked the weather forecast and it looks COLD. Perhaps there will be a payoff of a white Christmas, something that we do not get here in Melbourne.
We had a hot day here on Wednesday, about 39 degrees celsius (or should I call it centigrade?), with the last few days in the low 20s. But the HIGH forecast for Sunday (in New York) is -1 degree!! I hope the snow doesn't mean that the plane can't go to New York. One of the joys of travel, I suppose, the uncertainty.
I am hoping to go to the new medieval display at The Cloisters to see, among other things, the tapestry. I have heard that there has been a 5 year renovation going on, so it should be good to see.
I went to K Spoering's blog and she tells me that there are more tapestries to see at the MET, not that I am only going to look at tapestries, but it does give me a focus for my 'touristing'.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pink quilts!

I don't usually wear pink and I rarely have it in my quilts. I used to go to patchwork and applique classes and the teacher there hated pink! So I was interested to see the 12x12 group's pink quilt exhibition. There are some lovely ideas there, some pinker than others.
I am also using this blog to see if I can get it to post at a date later than I am writing it - it is currently December 15th so I'll see if I can delay it till the 16th, I don't want to have to wait too long to see if it works!
I have realised - someone told me - that I have to click the Publish Post button to have it scheduled. I think I only save the draft last time. Time will tell if I have done it right.

RMIT tapestry

While browsing the web and thinking about what I am going to do next year, I came across alink to some tapestry work designed by one of the teachers at RMIT.
Tapestry is beautiful but is often huge and takes such a long time to complete. I wonder how tapestry weavers ever make a living from such work, I can't imagine many people being able to afford to pay for the amazing amount of work involved. No wonder they are often commissioned by big companies.
There is currently a communal work in progress at RMIT that students will be able to work on next year. I think that it may even comprise part of the course for students who are doing Tapestry as a major subject, that you are expected to participate in a community work. Other people, who are not doing the tapestry major, are also contributing time.
It has four parts to it, four separate tapestries. Two are currently in production, although I think they are not being worked on at present, just for the summer holiday break. When I find out more about it, I will post about again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trying to get my head around blogging

I thought I had very cleverly arranged my posts to appear on consecutive days but have been disappointed to discover that they kept their original posting dates and that when I publish them they go into the order of my original writing of the post, not the order I wanted them to appear in. I'll have to read that help item again, more closely.
I also tried playing around with images for my header. I kept getting huge pictures and eventually thought I had made a good size but it has turned out to be much smaller than I had expected. AND I thought I had deleted it anyway, but I notice it is there.
Maybe I should do my blogging at sensible times of the day, not late at night when I am tired.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finding tapestry blogs

Here I am, sitting inside on a beautiful day, looking for blogs about tapestry. I have found several today, very interesting and inspiring.
The first two sites that came up when I did the search were a computer site and a reading site. Then I came across a tapestry crochet site, I am not sure what that is, exactly, but it was also interesting to browse.
You can spend so much time looking around on the internet!
But then I found several interesting blogs on the topic I was trying to find.
I can see that I need to learn heaps more and to actually set up a studio, even if it is just a consistent place to work. As I am enrolled to learn tapestry again next year, I hope that I will be able to show some work in progress also.
I also enjoyed the post about PhotoShop and its usefulness as a design tool. I will have to practise with that also.
These two sites have useful tips as well as showing some beautiful work. They also have links to even more useful and interesting sites but I must go and do some other things, make use of the beautiful early summer day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Erskine Falls, Lorne

We did take one excursion on our restful holiday in Lorne. We visited Erskine Falls. (Check out the very fast panorama at this link!)

It is a very pretty spot. We were there midweek and it was a rainy day but there were overseas tourists there with us. We tend to take our beautiful coastline for granted and forget that people come across the world to see it.

I was taken with the mosses and tried to take some shots of them but, as it was a reasonably dull day, they did not all turn out as I would have liked. However, I have some shots that might provide some textural ideas for my tapestry course next year.

I have all these ideas for art work but that's where they stay, as ideas. But I was encouraged today by reading a comment from one of the members of the Aus/NZ Art Quilters' group. She was lamenting all her good intentions but lack of work, so I don't feel so bad about my low output, I am obviously not alone.


I took my visual diary to Lorne in the hopes of actually doing some drawing but no such luck. I am just not a drawer. However, I did take my camera. I took a series of pictures for possible future art use. I have enrolled to do woven tapestry again next year and, as I have done one of a scene at Rye, I thought I might be inspired to do a series of seascapes next year.

So I took some pictures at Lorne, just in case. We had some sunny weather and some cloudy weather. There were amazing colours in the sea and clouds, so I have taken a lot of photos in the hopes of getting something I can work with. The photos don't do justice to the colours but they are better than my (non-existent) drawings.

Dangerous place, Lorne

There were some signs that gave us pause, when we went out at Lorne. The signs at the beach were fairly clear. We used to go to the ocean beaches in our childhood and so are aware of the dangers of the rips and currents.

But the flags were out and swimmers kept between them.

The surfers tend to sit waiting for good waves a bit further along the beach. It was calm the whole time we were there, so there was a lot of waiting and the surfing was only on relatively small waves.

Although the weather was not hot, there were people in the water every day and the life guards were there also. Actually, we had a variety of weather in the few days we were there, from sunny and warm to cool and rainy (not enough rain but some).
The Lorne Life Saving Club was on duty every day we were there and seemed to have classes every afternoon, after school. We saw exercises in rescuing drowning swimmers and the younger members seemed to be having lots of fun while practising these important skills.

Lilly Pilly at sunset

Our lilly pilly is flowering at present. I was outside at about 8.30pm, nearly sunset. We are approaching the longest day here and the sunsets can be spectacular. But I was distracted by the lilly pilly plant that we have had in the corner of our garden for years and years. It has been growing under the lemon scented gum tree, and most plants struggle there, so we have not interfered with it. We occasionally put water on it but, with the drought, it seems a waste of water to try to keep plants alive if they need special watering. The lilly pilly has been there for ages and we are hoping it will continue to grow.

I had to take the pictures on 800 ASA (or is that ISO?) because it was getting late, so they are a little grainy. Actually, I had a lot of fun playing with my camera and trying to learn the different settings, while we were at Lorne. It was either very bright or quite late in the day and so I had to play around with exposure, etc. I will try to blog using these pictures in the next few days.

I noticed a bee, working away on the flowers. Obviously, the bees work longer hours in summer.
I am wondering if the berries will be good for dyeing. I will have to wait till they are ripe and give them a try.
I am going to the northern hemisphere for several weeks soon and will be going from the longest day to the longest night - and to a big difference in temperature. So I will try to enjoy the long days and warm temperatures here for the next week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Visit to Lorne

I have been away for a few days for a very restful holiday at Lorne. We stayed at the Lorne Hotel, the destination of the Pier to Pub ocean swimming race that takes place every year in early January. (I have attended the race several times with some friends who have swum in the race but I have never attempted it, it looks very difficult, but it is usually a great day.) We were very happy with our room, we actually had a room each!

Our room also had a small balcony.

We were sitting quietly in our room one day when we saw a cockatoo outside the window. Of course we couldn't resist that cute face and let it have a biscuit - lo and behold, there were quite a few cockies that were watching from the trees across the road. They are very tame - they came to the balcony for their share. We are probably very unpopular with the cleaning staff as they made a bit of a mess, especially with the grape skins they let drop on the balcony floor, they only seen to like the inside of the grape. As you can see, they let us get very close to them.

On the way down we were a bit startled to see a sign reminding visitors from overseas to drive on the left side of the road. We had to go a bit of the way on the Great Ocean Road and it can be quite scary in places, narrow and up high above a cliff leading to the ocean. I wouldn't want to be unfamiliar with the roads and the correct side of the road there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flowers associated with Christmas

I have told myself that I should try to post at least once a week - not that it really matters. So, as I have not been doing much this last week, at least in a textile way, I have been taking some photos for future possible use.

One of the things that I love at this time of the year, with Christmas approaching, is the hydrangeas. To me, they are the Christmas flowers. They start to bloom and change colour and are so pretty and cheerful. The ones at our front door are ranging from pink to purple.

There are lots of poinsettias in the florists' shops but, for me, hydrangeas are the Christmas - and summer holiday - flower.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reading Girl with Hat

As part of one of our assignments, for Experimental Textiles, we had to make some head pieces or hats. One had to be wearable and one not. As I experimented, I made a hat for a statue that is in our garden, the Reading Girl. She fits right in as we are a reading family.

I made that hat with Zart Paper Magiclay, a wonderful new product, for me at least, that you mould and let dry and it sets hard. It is very light too. I left it white and put
Angelina Fibre and a feather on it to decorate it.

I decided this week that she belonged in the garden, not the glasshouse, so I put her out.

Thunderstorms and a, wonderfully welcome, heavy downpour later, and she looks a little bedraggled. But I can call it ephemeral art and then I don't need to stress that it is falling apart.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gorgeous Silk clothing and art

Yesterday, while we were still wandering around Docklands, trying to find our way home, we came across a shop filled with fabulous paintings, silk art and silk clothing. Just gorgeous things!
Helen, the lady who makes it all, was very friendly and showed us lots of her work. She has a tiny space where she was working on some beautiful clothes. I will have to stop moaning about my work space, hers was tiny and she was making gorgeous clothing.
Helen told us that a lot of her work is based on the Mallee and Alice Springs, with a lot of aerial views. She makes her cloths and her art work in the same theme.
Here is a link to her shop.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RMIT textile graduate student exhibition

My friend and I went to the RMIT Studio Textiles and Design graduate exhibition today - ASKEW. It was in Shed 4 at the Docklands. We caught the train and followed the directions that I had looked up on the online Journey Planner and it had mentioned Collins St, so we set off happily. After 45 minutes of walking around and asking people for assistance (none of whom could help us, despite good intentions), we stumbled upon the shed. We had gone in a big circle and had not needed to walk that far at all.
It was all worth it.
The students had done some fabulous work, using weave, tapestry, screen printing and knit. Some had mixed the different skills to produce experimental pieces also.
There were sculptures, furniture, shoes (the shoe making group, not part of the course I am studying), furniture, large pieces of fabric, drawings, clothes - I can't actually list all the things that they had made. Very high quality pieces.
I am starting second year next year, part time, and it is both inspiring and daunting to see the quality of work that we may be expected to live up to.
Congratulations to all the graduating students.
Unfortunately I do not have any images to show here but there was a really interesting catalogue of all the students and some of their work, so I can look at it at my leisure. (I'm alright Jack!)
It seems a shame that such a good exhibition, showcasing so much work, is only on for 3 days, but that's the way it is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Discussion Continues

The discussion about nudes in art, especially in textile art, continues with members of my group. There seems to be a range of thoughts on it but I must say that if it is art, then I don't think there should be any difference between painting, prints, sculpture or textiles. It all needs to be done respectfully - but that becomes an issue when people have different ideas about what is respectful and what is titillation and what is exploitation.
However, there were a couple of links I found interesting. This one, Bid-4-a-Cause, aims to raise money for women with breast cancer and I found that even here, there were a couple there that had nude female figures. Obviously, the aim is not to titillate but to celebrate the human figure.
The other link I came across was a bit more light-hearted. It has some images that some people have found offensive but I must say that I just found them amusing. It's called What Not to Crochet. There are some hilarious items and comments on it. Some of the items make me wonder why anyone would bother! It seems some people have too much time on their hands.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nudes in art quilts

Our group in the Aus/NZ Art quilt group as been discussing the use of nudes in art, it arose out of another post from one of the members that mentioned and article in The Age about the Melbourne Craft Cartel, a group that call themselves 'craftivists', crafters and activists. Somehow the discussion has moved on to art and nudes and their appropriateness in quilts. I followed links mentioned by some of the members and found these amazing works.
This link is to some works that are adaptations of famous paintings. Beautiful.
This link is to an interview of one of the members, related to her winning quilt in a Tasmanian quilt show. I wish I could come up with such amazing work after attending a workshop!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What do do?

I attended my last session for my course for the year today and am wondering what to do with myself (apart from doing paid work things). It is the first time in ages that I haven't had some textile work that is in the making, usually to a deadline. So I decided to have a look at all the things that I have had on the backburner - plenty of those!
I got out my visual diaries for my Aus/NZ ArtQuilters group and had a look at all the months that I have not done the journal quilt. They are only A4 size but I have got side-tracked from them and have not looked at them in months. I am hoping to play around with at least one month's theme soon. The last one I tried was Motion, so I had a look at some interesting optical illusion sites tonight.
Here are some links to a few.
link one
link two - this is the one of the spinning girl which is supposed to show if you are left or right brain dominant
link three - I specifically put the word movement into the search engine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Making a box frame

Yesterday I spent ages making a box frame for my textural tapestry. I handed it in today as part of my assessment for tapestry, first year. It could have been handed in in a plastic sleeve but it was getting squashed and that seemed to be ruining the textural effect.
I went to Bunnings to see if they sold picture frames but they only sell pre-prepared canvas mounts. So I wandered over to Lincraft and found a box frame for scrapbooking, at half price. But when I came home and tried the tapestry in it, it was not deep enough and was still getting a bit squashed, so then I had to devise a way of making a deeper box for the frame.
Fortunately my sister is into miniatures (doll's house stuff) and was able to show me some scene boxes she has made. I cut up some core board and made the box deeper, put in the work, closed the box up and then covered the outside with some sample wallpaper that she had (that sounds much simpler than it actually was). The advantage of making the box with core board is that it is quite stiff but is also light.

Now all I have to do is find a place suitable for such a deep box. Actually, I have two pieces to find spaces for, the final piece I did was a scene at Rye beach. I have posted about it before.

I find that I am learning all sorts of things in this course, not all of them what I expected. Firstly, I would never have expected to have chosen tapestry as a subject. I chose it because it was one of the optional electives in the course and students who had done it had recommended it. I have really enjoyed it, much to my surprise. That is one of the benefits of doing a course that offers skills that you thought you would not want to learn but that are mandatory.
Another thing that is happening is that you have to learn more than the skill of the technique, you also have to learn about mounting and presenting your work. That is often a big learning curve too, usually gone through at the last minute, as you get work ready to hand in.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Box Hill Diploma of Textile Arts graduate exhibition.

Today a friend and I visited the exhibition of the graduating students of the Diploma of Textile Arts from Box Hill Institute. It was at the Box Hill Town Hall. There were other student graduation exhibitions on in conjunction with this show but my friend and I went specially to see the textile part of the show. We had thought we would go to the other shows but spent so much time admiring the works of the textile students that we ran out of time for the others, although we did see some wonderful jewllery in passing.
The work was very inspiring, so many different techniques and so many different interpretations of their theme.
One of the students, Judy Smith, allowed me to photograph her work but the shots are not that good, the lighting was good for the textile show but not for photography.
However, I will post a couple of shots of her work. As she specifically gave me permission to show these pictures, I will only put up her work.

I was impressed by the variety of techniques the students used and the professional presentation of the work.

Monday, November 9, 2009


This is the result of washing a woolen cardigan that had a few small moth holes. Luckily I was experimenting with trying to felt it, using the washing machine, and was not just washing my, quite expensive, cardigan for future use.
I have been interested in felting for a while and have been looking at different instructions about how to do it. But I was not sure if this cardigan would felt, the washing instructions advised care, so I thought it would possibly felt. It did not felt much but the moth holes sure had an effect.
I have trouble with the idea of felting in the washing machine, possibly with all felting, as we are in a very long drought and water needs to be saved, not used for felting. Felting seems to use a lot of water. The washing machine is set up so that the water is going onto the garden, using specially devised, plant friendly washing liquid, but felting seems an extravagance, not like ordinary washing, which is necessary.
I am studying Textiles and Design at RMIT and one of my subjects is Dyeing and it also uses a lot of water - not good in our current situation. We are being encouraged to to use only 150 litres of water per household, per day, and these textile techniques make that difficult. So I may have to leave some of my experimenting till the drought breaks, if it ever does. It has been going for about 13 or 14 years now, so I won't hold my breath waiting for a lot of rain.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Almost finished

I worked on my tapestry for my final piece this weekend and have hitched off. I have not cut it off the warp as I will take it to our final class for the year to make sure that it is ok. It is based on a picture I took at the front beach at Rye a few years ago.

The colours in the tapestry picture have come out much more orange than it actually is but it gives an indication of the work. I had to take some poetic licence with the colours and with how I interpreted the boats and waves but I am pleased with it overall. There are things wrong with it but, for my first piece, I think it is quite successful.
Now I have to tidy it up, braid the ends and mount it. Then decide what to do with it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Arthur Boyd Tapestries

Today I had the chance to visit the Arthur Boyd tapestries of St Francis of Assisi at the Newman College Chapel, Melbourne University. I saw an article about it in The Age this morning. There were 8 tapestries hanging in the chapel. It was a lovely setting, peaceful, and you were able to get very close to them.
The work was amazing, they managed to convey the lines and tones that were originally done in pastel.
Here is a link to the brochure.

They were woven in Portugal, before the Tapestry Workshop was set up in Victoria. These days, Australian artists can have their work woven into tapestries here in Victoria.
The colours were beautiful also, glowing in the chapel.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Textile art at a garden shop

Today I went to the Bulleen Art and Garden nursery, to see the art exhibition in their Bolin Bolin Gallery. The exhibition was Fibre & Clay and the artists were Teresa Bennett & Heather Wilson. I loved both lots of works.
The textiles were woven, using nylon line and other fibres. They were interesting and beautiful.
I also liked the clay works because I love images of dragons and there were some especially beautiful ones. I like the fact that the artist says that no-one can say she got the proportions wrong, eg, as no-one knows what a dragon should look like.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Textile show at Mornington Art Gallery

I went with a couple of friends to visit the opening of two exhibitions at the Mornington Art Gallery on Sunday. There was an interesting exhibition of circus related works, connected with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. We went specifically to see the other show, a textile show that is touring the country. There was a rich variety of techniques and some inspiring works.
It was very inspiring and I came home all enthused about doing some tapestry weaving for my final piece for the course I am doing. I worked for about 4 or 5 hours and have stopped because the side is coming in and I am not sure if I will have to take it out. Not something to look forward to! So I have put it away till I see my teacher on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tapestry weaving

I have just read about Tapestry weaving on another blog. I, too, am studying tapestry weaving, at RMIT. I have just been working on a textural piece. I enjoyed it greatly but I must admit that I find tapestry weaving very slow! Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

It was fun playing with various thicknesses of warp and weft as well as differently textured threads.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Silk Paper hat dyed with Eucalyptus bark

I have made a sunhat, based on the bushman's hat with corks bobbling to keep away the flies, using silk roving (sliver?) which I dyed using the lemon scented bark. I used all the different colours I obtained with the different mordants that I showed in a previous post. The spiders are to scare the flies away. The scarf was also died using the lemon scented eucalyptus dye.
The silk was laid out to make silk 'paper', also known as silk fusion. I used the instructions from Judith Pinnell's books and Silk Paper for Textile Artists by Sarah Lawrence. The two authors describe slightly different techniques but I mixed and matched them to suit me. I was quite happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Butter sculpture - Nepal

Parlance commented about butter sculpture mentioned in an episode of The Spirit of Things. I listened to the episode with great interest. It is about a priest, a monk and a swami living in an interfaith community in Melbourne.
In it there was a reference to Nepalese butter sculptures.
It is interesting where the musings that I have here lead me! Who would have thought that I would have ended up with this topic when just talking about the hat assignment I had in my Experimental Textiles course.
Here is a link to some images of Nepalese butter sculptures (and some others).

Amazing ephemeral art

Someone sent me an email of some amazing ephemeral art, an artist called Liu Bolin. He has painted himself to blend into backgrounds. You have to wonder how long it takes and why people do it. But, I must admit, it is well worth the viewing. Here is a link.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pretend Food Sculpture

I am making a sculpture of small hats for my Experimental Textiles assignment. I have been looking up those profiterole towers that you see in some cake shops. I decided that my hats were pretty, frivolous and like confectionary. When I looked up some examples on the internet, I found them by entering the word 'croquenbusch' because that is what they had them labelled as at our local cake shop. But there is no such word in any dictionary.
It turns out that the word is actually French - croquembouche - meaning crunch in the mouth. So now I am thinking of calling my work croquesurtete - crunch on head.
Here are links to a couple of photos I found on the internet and I am thinking that they are good inspiration for my sculpture.
Photo One
Photo Two

Here is a shot of it in the making, not finished yet. It needs a few more fascinators and I will be putting some Angelina Fibre on it to simulate the syrup.

My work is influenced by the fact that it is the Spring Racing Carnival here and there are hats and fascinators around all the shops.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Food Sculpture

While researching my assignment about hats I came across some interesting sites with amazing food sculptures. (Don't ask about how I got to these while researching hats.)
Some chocolate and dairy food ones, some fruit ones and some general food sculptures.
You might need to be a little bit patient with the first one, it has a lot of photos on it and takes time to upload them all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

weird hats

We are doing an assignment in our Experimental Textiles course for which we have to make a wearable hat and a sculptural piece based on a hat. In my searching around I came across this site. Weirdest hats.
I am amazed at the imagination of some people and also at the effort they will go to, to actually wear some of these things. They cannot be comfortable.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Using the dyed pieces

I am going to use some of the stuff I have dyed to make an item for my Experimental Textiles subject and perhaps in the Tapestry weaving I am doing for another class.
I am currently working on a textured piece of tapestry weaving and can incorporate some differently textured 'yarns' - some of them will be strips of silk. I may even try some of the silk threads I dyed although I don't have much of that.
I am finding tapestry weaving very slow and some days I am ok with that and other days I get terribly frustrated. I went away to Crockett Cottage Studio with a couple of friends recently and we worked on the different tasks we had for our classes. I worked almost exclusively on my tapestry.

I had a lovely time and we had fun together. It was great to be able to focus on your work while being with others who were also focused on theirs. It was also great to have them doing various other textile activities and experiments and see what their outcomes were.

They did some natural dyeing, lino cutting, mono-printing and drawing.
It was wonderful to have such a well set-up facility and so much space to work in.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lemon Scented Eucalyptus Bark and mordants

Having played with the bark I decided to see what putting in mordants would do. I have to be honest here, I am not good at being precise, so I have no amounts to record. I just filled a pot with bark and covered it with water, then added a small plastic teaspoon of the sulphates. This first picture is of the lemon scented bark, after being soaked for 24 hours, boiled for an hour, then silk, silk sliver and silk thread being put into the pot and simmered for 30 minutes. I wrapped the silk sliver in the thread and then enclosed it in muslin, which is also included in the pictures. It seems to have dyed also. I was surprised as I did not expect cotton to take the dye so well.

This second picture is of the silk pieces (and the cotton) with a copper sulphate added. The difference in colour was subtle, it was slightly greener.

This next picture is of the dye bath with ferrous sulphate added. This was the same dye that I did the cold dyeing with, the second lot of dye from the bark. The result was much darker, almost silvery.

More natural dyeing with eucalyptus bark

I have done some more experimenting with the bark of the lemon scented eucalpytus that grows next door. This time I broke the bark into small pieces and soaked them for 24 hours.

I brought it to the boil and simmered it for an hour. When I drained the liquid out I had quite a dark dye bath.

Because I was using some small pieces of wool, I allowed it to cool before putting in the wetted wool and silk. Then I brought it back to the boil and simmered it for 30 minutes. As eucalyptus is a substantive dye, I did not put in any mordant in the first experiment.

Here are some pictures of the silk sliver and the wool batting, usually used for quilting. The colour was not strong but was pretty.