Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pecan Stems

Pecans are one of my favorite nuts and I love the trees too.
When I was a young girl, I lived near a pecan grove that provided many hours of play, hiding spots and climbing experience.
I loved the even rows of trees that stretched for acres.
It became my personal forest and my safe haven in a world full of scary miscreants.

I continually revisit the pleasure of the comely pecan tree with eco printing on fabric as well as paper.
I am working on a concertina book that celebrates my love of it.
This is one of the pages.

It is a perfect palette if you ask me...beautiful neutrals.
I love the way that the iron mordant edges the page and accentuates the stem and around the leaves.

When you use natural items to dye or print with, you become very familiar with  shape of the what you are using. You will be able to pick the leaf out of a line-up of other leaves.
I loved the pecan tree before for its safety, its imagination and its very existence but now...now, I adore it for its shape, its color and its exciting possibilities!

It's always more difficult to coax color out of cotton fabric as opposed to silk or wool.
I wonder why it is so simple to obtain color from paper that is made from cotton rag and so difficult to obtain the same color from cotton fabric?
Oh, I can imagine all sorts of reasons but if there is a "simple" answer to that question, please tell me.

I put on my mad scientist cap this past weekend and began a series of experiments on a particular cotton fabric that I have here.
It's a PFD fabric that I purchase by the bolt so I have plenty to experiment on.
I am trying different mordants, various heating methods as well as a couple of shibori resist folds.
Between the information that Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada's book offered me and the website and online class of Glennis Dolce  (it's on sale right now), I was set to go with many shibori techniques.
I have done a few things before with shibori (indigo vat fun with Yoshiko Wada in Asheville NC) but very simple, very basic.
And I will keep it that way until I figure out the best way to get the results that I want with the natural dyeing.

I love the way that the folding, clamping and stitching creates a memory in the cloth.
Just as my childhood memories create a special mark on the pecan tree prints, the shibori folds create a different memory on the cloth.
I love tying the two together in one place.

This is a piece of the aforementioned cotton fabric.
The pecan stem is a little difficult to see because of all of the patterning made by the folding of the fabric. It makes its own resist and pattern as well.

I love the marks left by the binder clips that I used.
The clips are sold in office supply stores in small boxes ("binder clips"). They come in a variety of sizes as well, so you can get different widths of line in the resist that they create.
The horizontal lines and squares left by the folding technique appeal to the OCD in me.
The unpredictable splay of color calms my mania. It also triggered several ideas which I'll be working with this week.

Damn, I have so many ideas related to this that I could work on it for a year or more!

I guess what really excited me the most was being able to get that much color and pattern from a pecan stem, a handful of binder clips and a pot heated on a hot plate.

There must be a 12 step program for the addiction that this has created.


Joanne Huffman said...

Love your pecan dyeing.

denise in wnc said...

I'm amazed at the patterns you are getting with your eco-printing! Delightful stuff going on!

Windy Hill Happenings said...

The colors are luscious...

Terriea Kwong said...

Very pretty prints. Love your pecan the layout is so natural and turnout wonderful.

Suzanne McClendon said...

This is very pretty. I love the colors!

I grew up with pecan trees, too. We had two in the yard where we live now, but one got sick and had to be cut down. There is a little one growing in its place along with the other adult tree that, thankfully, didn't get sick.

Keep up the great work. You're very talented. :)