I’ve been itching for the week to pass so I could open up my second batch of eco print bundles.
The first picture shows half of a long narrow band of the jacket lining fabric (probably cotton) that I used for some of my first eco prints. This time the colour is more pronounced. Again, I bound the bundles with sari silk and the colour has transferred. I also sandwiched in some rusty staple gun staples. I found a whole boxful in the shed that have lain around for a long time and are no longer fit for purpose. The frieze – as I’m calling it – looks like some sort of music notation.
And here is one of half a dozen bundles I made up from my stash of redundant coffee filter papers.
And just above is a sheet of kadhi paper. This bundle contained red eucalyptus leaves, which have imprinted themselves very cleanly and precisely. The brown in the middle is rust from a rusty bar I wrapped the paper/leaves around.
I used red and green eucalyptus leaves and flowers and golden rod flowers, bought at a discount from my very kind local florist. And I used a good number of rainbow-coloured leaves fallen from the ornamental cherry in our garden; also, red Acer Palmatum, ivy …
Then I added the rusty staples to the bundles and I wrapped a few bundles round some rusty bars, like the one on the right here. It too has picked up a pattern from the organic material. I think this looks quite Art Nouveau.
I’ve just received some silk chiffon and alum (mordant). I’m prowling the local antique and charity shops for a copper pan/cauldron as a dye pot. No luck yet, though I did find a copper jelly mould (pineapple-shaped).
Opening up the bundles has all the excitement of unwrapping a gift. Some of the bundles were wrapped round sticks. I was reminded of Native American Indian medicine bundles and came across spirit and prayer sticks; and talking sticks. I found images of spirit sticks that also incorporated dream catchers. They reminded me of shepherds’ crooks and the crooks carried by bishops. I’ll be looking more deeply into this aspect of bundling.
Creative writing, I’ve discovered, is also about unbundling. It’s very much a case of unwrapping. I wrote four short stories in less than two days last week. It was for a competition. I met my midnight deadline with 10 minutes to go. And it was as if the characters came to me for me to write down their stories.
And aside from this, I have been doing some serious digging, at our newly acquired allotment, where we will be growing not only fruit and veggies, but, of course, plants and flowers suitable for dyeing. The plot is neglected. It’s a bit like archaeology, an unbundling of what is already there. We’ve been very fortunate with the weather. We’ve managed to prepare two parcels already for the planting of potatoes and brassicas (or is that brassicae), in the spring. There is a wonderful and sturdy shed, complete with veranda. It’s more like a cabin. I have already painted this – spruce green – with some exterior paint leftover from another project. And I’ve used up some cream paint to frame the window. We took a set of dismantleable shelves that were stored in the loft which I’d painted (washed) – chinese red – and beeswaxed.
It’s nice also to be meeting, online and in real life, new creatives in the eco/botanical dyeing and allotmenteering fields.
What are you unbundling at the moment?