Experiments are fun things, especially when they have unexpectedly nice results. Today’s testing was trying out some Procion MX dyes on silk ribbon samples to see how well the dye struck and whether the materials from this particular supplier would be any good for creating my own range of colourful silk ribbons for embroidery.Read More »
The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague
There were many things about my recent trip to Prague that didn’t quite go according to plan. The antiques shop, famous for their stash of antique lace was closed for unexpected reasons, as was one of the museums I had wanted to see, and the whole country went into a ‘State of Emergency’ thanks to You Know What. However, despite my best laid plans going to waste, I found some unexpected gems, including the Museum of Decorative Arts, and completely fell in love with a city that I’m just going to have to go back to.
Making Nuno Exhibition, Japan House
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon the existing of the Japan House in Kensington, London, but I am very glad I did. Apparently it is supposed to be ‘presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology’ to deepen our appreciation of what Japan has to offer. It’s a really interesting and honestly incredibly persuasive initiative from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, especially when they put on some incredible textile exhibitions which you can enjoy for free.
Dyeing Sock Yarns (In Pairs!)
Maybe it’s the dour dark nights of winter drawing in already but I’ve been finding myself really craving working with fibre. It’s been a struggle not to cast something new one the needles, but I have had the wheel out and some delightful yak for a bit of sampling work I hope to share soon. Somewhat dangerously, I did end up going to the virtual Indie Untangled Trunk Show, which is probably what inspired the current bit of dyeing.
Monograms are incredibly popular motifs with machine embroidery. With the speed of digital embroidery, it’s a quick way to transform a boring generic item into something a bit more special and personal. I absolutely love illuminated letters and fancy lettering too and really think they can easily be a work of art in themselves.
Time-lapse Ice Dyeing
One of the many, many things I like about dyeing, dyes and dyed objects is they make fantastic photography subjects. Maybe that’s because, for me, a load of coloured splodges in a suitable colour scheme are high art and that combination of things is really the essence of dyeing.
An Ice Surprise
I was going through my fabrics, looking for some scrap to help frame up some embroidery, when I came across some old ice dyed fabrics I made a while ago and was struck by how nice they were. What is also very rewarding about ice dyeing is that it is very straightforward to do and, if you want to, you can just prep things somewhat arbitrarily and enjoy the ‘randomness’ of the results.
Spycher Handwerk, Huttwill, Switzerland
It’s very easy to feel that you’re in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland. Even Geneva, which is the second most populated city in Switzerland, has a population of less than two hundred thousand. The five biggest cities represent 40 % of the total population, making it relatively easy to ‘escape to the countryside’ where there are some excellent hidden gems of craft shops.
A Little Blue
Oh summer, where hast thou gone? The bright mornings and the long evenings, not stumbling to and from work in the dark, and the general piece and quiet of being in a city that seems to lose a significant proportion of its inhabitants over the summer vacation… All gone… Seemingly in an instant. As I’m doing most of my dyeing outside now, it’s probably also coming towards the end of dyeing season and the start of needing the daylight lamp for any fine embroidery work. I think I start to understand why some people are seasonal silk shaders, it’s much easier when you can actually see what you’re doing!
The Spinner’s Palette
Sometimes simplicity is best. After my last batch of dyeing, I’ve been trying to work through various colours to create a ‘palette’ to be able to spin from. The nice thing about dyeing top for spinning rather than dyeing a skein of wool directly is that this still leaves a huge number of possibilities for colour blending and mixing at different stages of the process.