Thursday, October 20, 2016

Multitasking in the studio, on the one hand, spindles, on the other, dyeing, on the third, transparencies

Before I make a pot of tea and thankfully sit down with an Emma Lathen to read, I thought you might like to see the latest doings around here, in the studio, that is.  

Many doings on the renovation and on Neighbors' Great Ideas Complicating It, and kitty Duncan's downturn in health, and incessant callers at the door trying to get me to switch my utility provider, and well, never mind, the studio is always there.

So I did take a shot at making a few spindles, just for the halibut, and learned a ton about why they do or don't work. And learned to appreciate  my Schacht ones better, too.




I recycled a couple of ancient CDs with material on them no modern program will display, so no loss, and cut a length of dowel, dug out O rings from my Dorset Button Caper, and tried it out. The combo of CDs and O rings fit the dowel snugly, with a bit of help from duct tape, and all it needs is a cup hook in the top.

I tested this by doing larks head knots in place of a hook, and was not impressed by my expertise. Also the spinning action was okay, but too soon over.

And another knitting needle, with two thingies from the kit I got when we learned the braiding from Charlene, they fit well, but are too light in weight to work well, need more ballast.

Then the ancient  knitting needle and the metal thingie I found in the kitchen drawer, again, lovely snug fit, and the needle willing to spin evenly, but again too short, the metal thingie needing more width to work well physically. That's a WIP.  No knitting needles were harmed in the course of this experiment, no glue got on them, and they can go back to being needles when needed.

As you see I did test them all, using Coopworth roving, and they all made a pretty nice yarn, but it would be labor intensive to use them for long.  But a great experiment, one which caused me to run up and down many flights to corral all the ideas and pieces in one place at one time.  Never knew building spindles was aerobic.

Then on to the yarn I'd finished and hanked and soaked overnight to dye today.  I squeezed it out till damp, then put it in the dye, brought to the simmer, one hour at that temp, gradual cooling, and now it's hanging to dry.  And here's where natural dyes have it all over the synthetic ones when it comes to surprise results.  You know how a synthetic dye gives you the color you expect, based on the dye color?  Enter the world of nature.



Here I used a deep purple mixture of red cabbage, and beet with a mordant (probably alum, forget and the notes are across the room), and what a surprise when I lifted out the hank and rinsed it, to find it is a lovely shade of sort of green. 




And more surprise still, where it's draining, the dye draining out of it is the original dark red.  Hm. In bright daylight, more green shows, then in artificial light, more pinkish green.

This is where it's good to have the artist's rather than the artisan's temperament, I suppose.  I don't mind the surprise, but if I had my heart set on that dye color I'd be really irritated.

Interestingly, the other pink, the red maple and red onionskin one, came out pretty true, and the turmeric was unmistakably true to color.  So it's an interesting mystery. 

But the world of technology tends to run truer to expectations, and here are the latest images to be printed on silk, originally watercolors, one a Tyvek mixed media over dyed fabric.





I still need to overlay and combine these with other transparencies I already printed out, so that's still to come.  These can all be reproduced at will, so they will be on sale at very fair prices.  I have the original artworks, and you can still have an artwork, overlaid, printed on silk, and not duplicating the original.  The combinations will vary, so this will be fun.  Get in touch if you want to know more.  I can ship matted, unframed.

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