Sunday, 15 June 2014

Dye Works: Part One

A large part of yesterday afternoon was spent on the balcony.
Any ideas?
How about now? 
Pretty obvious right?
The end result, I hope, will be some new necklace designs. For now they'll be one off's for the open section of an exhibition at Arts Hub 47 opening this week. The cotton cord, when it's not bound in Tana Lawn as mine usually is, has a really nice drape to it, so I experimented with a few shapes to best highlight this.

First off, I cut the cord to length, and bundled it up so I knew which lengths were for which style. Then it was into a bowl of water to soak through ready to take up the dye...
 ...assisted, as ever, by Catsby. Next up was mixing the colours I wanted. Clothes dye isn't the easiest stuff to mix, it doesn't always do what you expect it to, and it's hard to tell what colour you'll end up with once it's dry. I had Bahama Blue, Sunflower Yellow and Rosewood Red, which I muddled well enough to get a tealy green, an orangey red and a warm yellow.
Some of the cord went right in to get an all over solid colour, and some of it I half immersed to get an ombre effect along the length, pulling it a bit further out every 5-10 minutes to get the gradient. For one of the designs I did a two colour ombre, starting from either end, like so...
I left it all soaking for about an hour then rinsed in cold water, taking care not to bleed the different colours, and then washed in warm water to get the last of the dye out.
 Whilst they were drying I threw a bit of silk habotai in to see what would happen.
In the teal, scrunched into a ball and tied with elastic bands.
And in the red, concertina pleated along the length, then again in the other direction before being tied.
I will show you the finished necklaces very soon, but in the meantime, here are the dried habotai pieces.

Any suggestions for what I should do with them?

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