Today was the longest day of the year, so I guess last night might possibly have been the shortest night, and so it was fortuitous that I looked out the window just on dusk to see the full moon rising, and just had to get out the camera again.
Saving it in my file of moon pictures I found this one, very much a winter moon and quite eerie …..
Markets are finished for 2010, there is a nice three week gap until they start up again on 9 January.
FELTING WOOL BATTING WITH LANDSCAPE DYES
After my painting session last week, I had a day in the studio on Saturday making and dyeing felt for more diary covers – the felted ones are very popular. I have written this in more detail to help any readers who want to try this technique.
The wool I use is the off-cut from wool/poly quilt batting. I find for this job, the scrim acts as a stabiliser and it keeps its shape.
First I soak the batting in warm to hot water for several minutes until it is completely wet.
The very wet fabric is folded/scrunched casually on the base of a microwave proof plastic container ready to have the dye added. It must be a good brand of container, not ice cream or take-away food containers, as the heat generated distorts the plastic and gives off nasty fumes.
For this process I use Landscape Dyes, which are good for protein fibres – wool and silk. I mixed up a small bottle of selected colours which I wanted to use on this occasion.
and poured two colours over the waiting fabric.
I have used Heath (pink) and Dusk (light purple) here. After pouring over the second colour, the fabric is squashed and squished until the colour has gone right into the layers. Then covered with a cup of water, and a lid sitting loosely on top of the container, it is microwaved for about 6 minutes on high. Be careful taking it from the over, there is a lot of hot steam.
Using tongs, carefully turn it over. The liquid in the container may still have some colour in it, that does not matter at this stage.
If the dye hasn’t penetrated right through leaving some white spaces, pour a little dye solution over white parts. Then add a spoon of vinegar to a cup of water, pour over the fabric and microwave again for about 6 minutes.
This time, any liquid should be clear, all the dye has been taken up by the fabric in the cooking.
Now put the container aside to cool before handling – DON’T take the fabric out while it is still hot – the colour is not stable until cold.
Squeeze out the water, which should be clear, and hang to dry.
A thorough pressing with a hot iron will finish off the new piece of felted wool.
The scrim on the back of the wool batting acts as a stabiliser for using in textile art.
The photos for this bit wouldn’t upload properly, so look for Part 2 of Felting with Landscape Dyes and Wool Batting next week – From Felt to Art …