So much fun yesterday,
I got together with my usual fiber gang yesterday, and we spent the day turning leaves and silk into beautiful combinations.
Seattle Leslie had taken a class in using leaves to print on silk scarves so she led us in techniques throughout the day. Everything began with a big pile of vegetation gathered from various neighborhoods, both green and dried.
There were also a lot of onion skins to add yellow and orange options. The dry leaves were soaked in water so they would be less brittle and could handle the process.
First the scarves had to be soaked in a heated alum solution and then wrung out gently. After that there were various options. The leaves dipped in an iron water solution could just be directly laid on the scarf and wrapped up, or cotton blankets (sheet strips) with dye could be laid on top, with or without more iron water. Stems and flowers? Why not. Rusty washers? Toss them in!
The scarves and Saran Wrap were tightly rolled around plastic and wood dowels and tied tightly to keep the cloth in close contact with the leaves.
Some of us really put themselves into getting that part right.
Then the bundles all went into this fabulous old steamer Oregon Leslie found on Craig’s List. It was originally for canning, but it makes a perfect scarf steamer.
The unwrapping, after the bundles had cooled, was magical. So many unexpected results!
The scarf above, made on a wool/silk fabric, came out really yellow compared to all the others. Less heat perhaps, as it went in as one of the later bundles? But the red Japanese maple leaves with all the yellow are gorgeous.
We learned that chestnut and oak leaves left wonderful imprints, as did smoke tree leaves. Cedar and fir left ghostly jagged lines, and onion skin gave sharp burst or yellow and orange. Hydrangea leaves, on the other hand, didn’t give much of an effect at all.
Rose branches, rusted washers, and broken dye made this mirror image square of silk frame worthy.
Bundle after bundle unrolled incredible prints.
The joy just keep coming.
Some were even more joyful than others.
Can’t wait to do it again!