Deborah Chandler, a name well-known in the weaving world, has been working for many years with Guatemalan handweavers to help them find a way to sell their beautiful work at a fair price to help support their families. But she also understands the economic challenges this creates. This is a thought-provoking discussion of the dilemma faced by handweavers, as well as many artists and craftsmen, not just in Guatemala, but throughout the world.
Sandy and Shar lead us in a hot day of Ice Dyeing.
These are pictures of Frank’s work.
I was surprised how light the final colors are, especially on the flower sack towel. I let the pieces sit damp in a plastic bag for 24 hours. I rinsed by hand and then washed in the washing machine with hot water.
I liked the affect when I folded the flower sack towel into quarters. It made the quarters look similar.
My favorite was the pleated and rolled piece. I think it is the strongest design.
Most of us do at least some of our projects and experiments using natural dyes. And many of us know Kathy Hattori who has a company called Botanical Colors. Kathy has recently been in Alaska finding dye sources and is featured in a short video by Jenny Nichols called Wild Alaska. Here is a look at what she has found.
On this warm day we met to once again experiment with our indigo pot. There were seven of us: Phyllis, Sandy, Sharolene, Ann, Anne, Natalie, and Laura.
Ann’s shawl on the left was originally bright pink until it was dipped into the indigo pot. And her shirt on the right was bound into pleats with rubber bands at the neck and the hem for a decorative resist when in went into the pot.
Natalie, one of our new members, is also learning to spin on a wheel that has a history and is in need of some tweaking. Several of us helped her determine that there was a bit of a wobble when the wheel went round but we think she can make an easy fix.
We experimented with immersing items in the dyepot for a longer period of time versus repeated dips to see if there was a color difference. There did not appear to be but we will see if the color fades less in the one we left in the pot longer.
We also discussed ways to connect with others like Natalie and Laura who might like to share in our adventures with spinning, dyeing, and weaving. A very nice day!
This meeting was our pre-Easter one where we decorate eggs in some manner. This year, we decided to dye them with food dyes (as described below). We got a great bunch of colors that were mixed according to Martha Stewart’s instructions from her website. Attending the meeting were: Ann, Phyllis, Sandy, Marsha (pictured), Frank (taking the picture) and Sharolene.
The eggs we dyed were colored with beets, red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins and coffee. The pale ones are blue and lavender. The dark colors were boiled for 30 minutes and the light ones were raw eggs soaked in the dye for 30 minutes. The ones we consistently turned were scratched and the ones we left alone came out nicer. We all agreed that it was a lot of work and a fair amount of wasted food but we learned some interesting things. Next year we are using the colors we liked the best and designing the eggs with leaves and wrapping them with color: Hint to all, If you ever have an occasion to cook red cabbage put a couple of white eggs in the pot at the same time and see what a pretty color you get. Then you can eat them.
We had a lovely small meeting with Phyllis, Marcia, Sandy, Lotus and Sharolene. Sandy tried the new method of heating up our indigo bath with an aquarium heater and pump, however it didn’t heat up the water fast enough for our purposes. Therefore we are purchasing an electric hot plate to boil water to pour around the indigo bath instead.
The meeting consisted of us working on our kumihimo lanyards for CNCH. Sandy showed us a very nice pattern that is easy to weave which makes large braids that will be easy on the neck of whomever wears it.
Marge Pustorino – Mary Ann Ostrander
Margaret More – Four O’ Clock
Mary Flynn -Small Blooming Leaf
Rhonda Nelson – Snail Trail & Cat Paws
Chris Wallace – Sun Moon and Stars
Dee Dumont – Large Blooming Leaf
Marcia Kehr – Johann Speck #33
Barbie Paulson – Kings Flowers
Linda Stinchfield – Chariot Wheels
Phyllis Karsten – Phyllis’s Fancy
Patricia Martin – Snowballs
Carol Lewis – Morning Star
Roberta Gaynor – was not able to do the weaving
We had our usual indigo dye pot and a cochineal dye pot as well. (Cochineal comes from a small beetle that lives on cactus pads!) We are also making kumihimo lanyards for the Conference of California Handweavers (CNCH) meeting in 2018. Here are some photos of some of our efforts. Of course, Phyllis’s dog Flicka had to take a look too.