November 29, 2011

Nature Rules...

Nature does have it way of ruling everything around us. Our job is to look after nature as much as we possibly can. Last weekend we had so much rain I think there was no water left in the sky after that! We love rain and enjoyed it very much. The next day we went for a long drive trying to soak up the freshness after the rain. We didn't plan where to go, we just drove north from where we live. We came across a sign saying Yarra River Scenic Drive so we went on it heading in the direction of Warrandyte. We stopped on the bank of the Yarra River which was swollen from the rain the night before. It was lovely walking along it for a while.  


We came across this warning sign to warn people that the bank falls off steeply into deep water. It is an interesting sign. In my travels I came across many fascinating signs, but didn't used to take photos of them. I will make sure I do that from now on...


The water has risen and overflown onto the path. The flow of water was quite vicious. You wouldn't want to fall into it. I love the luscious green of the vegetation after the rain. I am always looking for falling leaves for dyeing while I walk. 


You can find all the beauty imaginable nature has given us. Walking along Yarra river I found falling eucalyptus leaves perfect for eco-dyeing. I had not tried these ones before and was anxious to get home and try them out.


And here is the result from the leaves above. I used pre-mordant vintage kimono silk. I mordant it with alum  and let it sit overnight. I folded the silk in half with leaves stuffed inside the fold and roll up the bundle. Tied it with string and steamed for 1 hour. I should leave it for a few weeks, but this time I opened it after an overnight stand. Nature gave me this wonderful golden colour and I am more than pleased with the result.


No I don't take eucalyptus for granted. We are fortunate to have eucalyptus trees in abundance here in Australia. What you need to do is to try dyeing from different types of tree until you are happy with the results. I found this tree near our local park. If I am not mistaken it's called Curly Mallee (E. gillii). 


This particular tree gave me a beautiful pale orange colour after I steamed it for a short time. Sometimes you don't always want a strong colour. I can see another bojagi cloth coming along from this piece.


Over dyeing is fun too. The above piece was dyed with fig leaves and rusty metal used to mordant it. I got this beautiful yellow and silvery gray. While I still got the indigo vat going I thought I would play with shibori stitches. I stitched up a piece of mokume (wood-grain) and dipped it in the vat. See the results below...


This is what I got after two dips in the indigo vat. I should have pulled the stitching tighter to get more of the background colour. It doesn't really matter though. I quite like it as it is. 


I dyed these last weekend. From left to right. Silk eco-dyed with fig leaves. The second and fourth pieces are rose petals and leaves bundles that I did on the last post here. The third and last pieces are silk eco-dyed with olive leaves. 

Wow, it's almost December already! Where has the year gone? I am happy to see the back of 2011. I think we have had more disasters in 2011 than any year I can remember! Let's hope 2012 (the water dragon year) brings happiness and safety for us all...!



Enjoy
Nat





12 comments:

Hoola Tallulah said...

So lovely!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Good walk Nat after the rain...I totally agree...where has 2011 gone?

deanna7trees said...

oh your dyed pieces are lovely. i especially love that shibori piece. i've kind of forgotten about stitching up pieces before dyeing. have to get back to that. thanks for the reminder.

Nedra said...

As a child I grew up playing under Eucalyptus trees in the Bay Area of California. How I love their smell, and miss them now that we are in Arizona. I never thought about using Eucalyptus for dying. Your fabrics (as always) are so beautiful.

onesmallstitch said...

wonderful patterns and colours, love the overdyeing and they will be exciting to use in bojagi

kaiteM said...

your eco dyed leaves gave lovely effects Nat, you are very good at it now, so good you could teach it. lovely pics of the swollen river too.

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Nat, I find it amazing the different colours you get from your dyeing.

Lis said...

Everyone I know has said how quickly this year has gone. Yet it has been full of tragic events. Roll on 2012. I love the golden eucalyptus piece, good job.

aracne said...

Beautiful, so beautiful. Everything that you touch becomes like gold, I would like to know how you do it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Natima, your pieces of cloth have all come out lovely, I look forward to seeing what you make with them. I agree the signs are interesting.
Lynda XXX

Terry said...

Eucalyptus always pleases. The colors are so different from green leaves to sun dried and from wet season to drought. Always an adventure. Yours is fun

sheila at shecological said...

Love it!

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