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Friday, April 24, 2009

Dyeing Natural Fibers with Natural Dyes



Jessica stirring the dye pot.

The final OUTCOME:

Swatches and threads of different fiber content, dyed with various natural items


Last Saturday, some friends and I went to an all day class at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. One participant was my daughter Jessica, who graduated from OCAC with a BFA in metals 11 years ago. She is however very proficient with textiles as well. The class was a gift from my father and her grandfather, who is a witty, engaged, art appreciator, 88 years young. Judilee Fitzhugh taught this class to about 8 people interested in ONE POT NATURAL DYEING. It was a very practical class, and we all learned a great deal. We used three mordants and three dyes that Judilee had judged would be quick to strike color. We used copper, iron and alum to mordant various silks and hemp swatches, and also some silk thread. After we had our fabric prepared, we used logwood, cochineal and onion skins to color our samples. The photos show the steps in the process and also the finished products.

The other attendees to this class were really inspiring too, as each has an art sensibility and pursues it with a passion.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Each school year my students make a quilt. They Turkish Marble the fabric, and then each students makes a block. The blocks are assembled. Then the finished quilt is given away. We select a child (in our community) that has endured some kind of crisis. This is the quilt made this year, my last year of teaching. It was given to a girl who mother was very ill.


Our class quilt nears completion

This is the last year I will make a quilt with my students. Here is a photo of the quilt that is ALMOST complete. It will be in a couple of days.
Every year for many years, the students in my class have Turkish marbled fabric, made quilt blocks with the fabric and finally a beautiful quilt. The quilt is then given to a child in our school community who has experienced a crisis in his or her life. Ironically this year, two students in our class are past recipients, and the child to whom we will give the quilt is also in our class. She isn't aware that she will get this quil yet, but soon this quilt will be given to her by the class.