Last week I took my dye pots, scraps of metal, aluminium tins and copper rods along to a friend's place for a day of eco-dyeing in her garden. I love sharing my craft skills and crafting with friends.
It was a lovely day and we were blessed with happy jumps of joy from Artemis and Sunspot the two ridiculously cute mini-lop bunnies. I also made my very first bird friend, Nutmeg the cockatiel. She decided that she wanted to be part of the eco-dyeing action and came and sat on my shoulder to supervise the goings on.
Buoyed by my recent success over an open fire I was having another go at red cabbage in an aluminium pot. I confidently predicted blues from the combination. And I was wrong! It was a really lovely reminder of the unpredictability of this process. There are so many variables and it's impossible to predict the results. I love the unexpected nature of this craft. Seeing what's going to happen next is addictive!
In future I'm going to be a lot more careful about what I promise when it comes to eco-dyeing. In fact I'm not going to promise anything. I think I'm just gonna go all mysterious and annoying and say try it and see.
Crafting with other people is always so inspiring. Everyone has their own style and approach. I've been folding my bundles for dyeing in the same way I was taught a couple of years ago. Crafting with my friend Alice opened my eyes to new and different ways to fold the bundles. Instead of wrapping her scarf around a copper rod, Alice folded it into thirds and fastened it with bulldog clips. With her paper bundle that you can see above, she folded it into thirds before tying it to an aluminium can. I love the gorgeous and distinct sections she got on her paper.
I hadn't realised that by simply changing the way I folded my bundles I could get a whole new result for my dyeing. It's the beauty of working with others - until you do, you have no idea of the assumptions you're making on a daily basis.