Posts Tagged With: Cochineal

Colors That Came out of the Pot

So I was dyeing Saturday and my pieces are now washed and dried and ready for a new life. But what did I get?

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Beautiful Silk

I couldn’t get pictures that really showed the colors well. Still a lot to learn with a camera. But this piece came out just lovely. (At the rate I’ve used lovely on this and the last post, you would think I’d been spending time reading items from England, and you would be right.) But anyway, I dropped this piece of silk in the cochineal pot first. Didn’t stay in long but it did come out a nice pink color. Then I dropped it in the indigo pot. When I pulled it out, I was amazed at the lovely color. It shows a bit of the pink and the blue but mainly it is this absolutely lovely mauvey purple. I will have to find a use fitting to its color and silk.

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Hanging between dunkings

Here are the three dresser scarves. I bought them while in Germany and the Good Lord only knows what their fiber make up is. But I was thinking that a nice green would be better than white in our new bedroom. So in they went in the osage orange bath. After a good bit of time, they then visited the indigo bath several times. I never could decide if they looked very green but there was definitely a hue there hiding.

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Home and getting rinsed

But when I got them home and was rinsing them, it was quite an odd event. The water went all yellow/green. It was like the osage orange orange was maybe washing out from under the indigo. Could it be I should have waited longer between taking it out of the osage orange and putting it in the indigo? Odd but we continued rinsing till it was clear. Hmmm… What was I going to end up with?

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A close look of the scarf

 

Again I didn’t get the picture to look as close as I would have liked. But they ended up a very dusty blueish color. They look like there is more grey in them. A quite lovely color though not green. Well, in my eyes. My husband says there is some green there to him. I do love the color. Not what I was hoping for but they aren’t still white, I do like the color, and they will look fine in the bedroom.

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This should be a soft orangey color

So then in went a piece of cotton. First the osage orange a bit of time and then the cochineal. It is not an in your face orange. But very soft. Now I hate yellow and have a dislike of orange, but this came out a nice comforting color. Not bad at all. Will have to find a good use for it as well.

My only other piece was the one that I’m holding in the picture that was suppose to be a video in the last post. It is just a nice mottled blue. A good piece of not very dark indigo.

So my own dyed items from Saturday. It was quite a fun adventure. Not sure I would get enough into dyeing to want to get too particular for particular colors, but having the pots and just experimenting is a good bit of fun. I probably got some colors I like better than if I had tried for something I wanted.

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Red, Yellow, and Blue, What Fun!

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Wild hog fresh off the fire

Early Saturday I headed east from Lexington for Jesse Jones Park in Humble where I volunteered when we lived that way. It was fun to head out for a Second Saturday despite the drive being 4 times as long as it once was and it not being perfect weather. Now I know these pictures make it look like a lovely day, but the weather was a fickle maiden this day.

The theme of the day was food from the fire. There was a wild pig spitted and roasted over night to be enjoyed. These pigs are way too abundant and tear up all in their path. There were also set ups of castiron dutch oven cooking with savory and sweet. Wonderful tastes for all to enjoy.

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Maureen warping a loom in the shade out of the occasional rain. Jane showing visitors how to get seeds out of cotton.

But I also took out the dyes left over from Art Camp and as a continuation of the theme from last month, spinning and weaving, we had some dyeing going Saturday this month as well as a new weaver trying to learn to warp a loom and people wanting to know what that wheel did.

We had the three pots from Art Camp going. The cochineal and osage orange on a very low fire that someone put more wood on that shouldn’t have. Oh well, it didn’t ruin anything, but my idea of a small fire and others wasn’t quite the same. Then the indigo pot was at work on the table. We tried to make sure we did everything as we were taught at Art Camp, alas, and with me there is always an alas, but alas we did have one bit that never got put out but it wasn’t a flop so can’t complain.

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The cochineal pot

The afternoon was spent trying to keep the occasional drizzle and big drops out of the pots. Especially the indigo. We dropped in cloth the park is going to make into aprons. Roving of both cotton and wool went in different pots. Dresser scarves of unknown fiber. And Maureen even took off her apron when she decided she would love a blue one instead of white.

We were thankful that the Lord provided us with a tree that had a branch that just went off on its own almost horizontal to the ground. As we were out without a clothes line the leaning branch became our old fashion hanging rack to let the indigo items air in the oxygen before going back in the pot.

 

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The osage orange pot

I had pieces left over from Art Camp so threw some of them in the pots. So we experimented. I even went for an orange and it isn’t a bad one either. I don’t really care for orange but it is quite muted. I also threw in a silk piece. First in the cochineal and then the indigo. It is the most lovely mauvey purple one could want. I so love how it came out.

I did ask about the time once and a gal said that it was late. I about panicked as I did have a two hour drive home. But it turned out her definition of late and what I would have called late back in my old days at the park were two different things. It was actually just normal time when things start shutting down. We had two hours yet before we would have thought it late in the old days. Doesn’t that sound bad. But those days are over a year ago now. Time sure flies when you’re older.

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The end of watching the magic

We did get the fun of watching the cloths come out of the indigo bath and turn from a yellow green to blue. I don’t think I will ever be tired of watching the magic happen. We even had the idea of trying to get some video of it happening. But best laid schemes. We were all ready and pulled out the cloth, had video going, or so it seemed. After I got home and watched it, it turned out it didn’t start at the first press of the button, but started when it was pressed again to stop. So I clipped a picture of the cloth all blue and if one were to want to they can watch the top of the table and listen to us talk to visitors who came by while we were trying to do this. Oh, and yes my dress is my first outfit that I don’t wear anymore, but if one is playing around dye baths, if I’m playing around dye baths, I figured I better wear something that wouldn’t matter if I spilled the indigo completely over. Actually, I made it out with only my hands very blue but with some scrubbing, I only have blue finger nails now. It is wearing off but indigo does love protein. And yes, my hair is down. I had to wash it Friday, and there was just no way it was going to stay in a bonnet. So it won and I had a mess to comb out when I got home.

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Part of our afternoons work.

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Time spent with friends away from the crazy modern world.

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Still Dyeing but with Cochineal

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Cochineal dye pot

Ok, so on day two of Art Camp Connie had an extra bonus for us. Yes, there was a Cochineal bath (as well as an Osage Orange dye bath but that is later). Now, if one of your favorite books is A Perfect Red, and hence you are madly in love with the word Cochineal let alone the dye, can you imagine my excitement to actually get to dye with it? Such a deep lovely color in the dye pot. I could stand and look in that pot all day. We had a bit of a time getting it going as the hot plates didn’t heat up. But then after trying an iron in the outlet, we discovered that it was dead. Actually, the gals ironing and heating water in electric kettles learned that all the outlets on that side of the room were gone. So we shifted the table to the other side and got it going. The gal working there got the privilege of calling and learning where the breaker box was for that room and how to get us back on that side of the room but that only helped the irons at that point. We had hot water and dye going on the other side.

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Cochineal over-dyed with indigo with lines from twine

I don’t remember in what order I decided to dye things. I’m sure I just threw something in because I had to see that color. But to start with I did pleat up a long piece of cotton Connie had given us. I then put a block on it and dropped it in. As we were all wanting to drop something in that tiny kettle we were limited on time so after about 20 minutes it came out. Undid it and hung it up. Drying. UGHHH. Rather a dull pink. Not very interesting at all. Hmmm… I then decided to over-dye it in the indigo. But what to do. I folded all my pleats back in and looked at it. Knew I needed to keep with them. Then decided to tie it onto a pole. It fit just around the big one. I then tied it on in sections with no scrunching. In it went to the indigo bath. Out it came. Drying again. OOOH! I liked it so much better. So you see, a good dye can cover a multitude of sins.

I like what a classmate said of this piece. It made her think of a roll of film and the fading images. Fading memories.

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left: folded and rolled, right: folded and flag folded

I did drop my two silk pieces in the cochineal. I folded one up into a small packet of flag folds and a block. It came out mostly white with red about the edges of the folds. Not a winner but not too awful. The other – well I don’t remember what I did with it. I can tell I folded it in fourths the long way and short way. But I don’t remember what I did for the design element beyond that. Ohhh… Maybe something is surfacing from those fading memories. I think maybe this is a piece I just rolled up then tied twine around it and just dropped it in. Nothing fancy. Boy, now that I look at it more, I am being amazed at it. I didn’t have much time there to marvel at it as it was the end of the day these were unwrapped but now. I may have to try that again.

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Three different cloths with different shades

But no we are not done there. One thing I found interesting though not over exciting was with three pieces that just went in the pot as is. One was cotton and came out fairly light in color. One was silk noil and boy does it show what a wonder cochineal was to the world when brought back to Europe. And one was in between. Now I don’t believe all these were in the pot for the same amount of time though it wasn’t too far off. But look at the different shades of pink and red. One could really have a time of exploring every shade out of that pot. Then go and drop some acid in and totally change it and keep on going.

So what more did I do? I did drop in one small skein of yarn I had brought. Wool it was. I didn’t get a great picture of it to show the shade well but I do like the little thing and it will be added to my zoom loom project.

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The twine used to dip it is still attached

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