Thursday, February 11, 2010

Affordable Color

Hand-dyed warp inspired by this painting: The Poet's Garden by Van Gogh. I bought a postcard of the painting last week in the shop at the Art Institute of Chicago, where entry is free all of February. A great deal and a great opportunity to surround yourself with color and light.
The warp is an unmercerized 8/2 cotton which I had on hand. The dye is Procion MX and the method is hand-painting cellulose fibers from Teach Yourself VISUALLY Hand-Dyeing by Barbara Parry. I mixed stock solutions of Lemon Yellow, Fuchsia and Turquoise (3 Tsp. to 8 oz. of urea water - okay, the urea is there to keep the fibers wet enough to absorb the dye), then mixed several colors by eye (also using some Black) to match the greens and yellows in my postcard of the painting. It's surprising what a difference just a drop of the red or blue can make when added to the yellow.
The warp is intended for a sample of lace weaves for a study group of my weavers' guild. We are working on samples toward the Handweavers Guild of America Certificate of Excellence. The final samples should probably be neutral colors, but for this test - and given my current need to be surrounded by color - I decided to flaunt tradition and play with dyeing while I test the lace weaves out. And below, one of a pair of my new $6 lamps from the Salvation Army:
And a detail. Very Leda and the Swan, without Leda.




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