This took quite a bit longer than I thought, but I’m happy with the result, considering I have not embroidered since I put flowers on my jeans in the 60’s.
On a neighbourhood walk, I found a discarded non-functioning piano stool. Yep, I scooped it up, dismantled it, wire brushed the entire disassembled stool, and put it back together again. It now swivels, raises and lowers, and is now a plaything for my 2 yr old
grandson. Next step….buy a piano for him.
I made a few Charcuterie Boards. One is bird’s-eye maple, one is from a live-edged regular maple board and the last one was from a chunk of Sycamore. I sanded them down with a small hand-held sander and then hand-finished with sandpaper.
I polished them down with a food safe oil( unfortunately mineral oil is considered food safe!). The nutraoil is heated with beeswax in a double boiler and a tin can…4 parts oil to one part beeswax. I whipped it (off the heat) with a chopstick and it turns into a creamy paste wax. Each were polished with a lint free cloth and then the paste was reapplied a couple of times.
My summer indigo dyeing continued into the fall, which I would not recommend because of lengthy drying times and DRIPs, but I just could not quit.
I’m super pleased with the results, but the Linen is crazy hard to iron. Actually, the one batch of linen that I made the napkins out of was easy, but this yardage was very difficult. They wash up well, and fade ever so slightly. And then back to ironing.
So, here are eight hand dyed indigo napkins from my iron/calx/indigo vat. It’s odd, but I feel as though I “know” my napkins after the slow cloth session. I think they are beautiful and I love the slight colour variations in them. 9 dips. 9 rinses. 2 complete washings. After discovering that they weren’t quite dark enough at 7 dips I wasn’t really prepared to spend more time.
But they are now gone. It was a commission, but I also learned a lesson. When I make things I usually think of the person I am gifting them to. This time, I didn’t know the person, and it seemed to be huge amount of time to spend on someone I’m not familiar with. I won’t do a commission again, but I will dye again for family and friends.
After texting with the dyer fellow, Graham Keegan, about my colours of indigo becoming greyish and losing the intensity of the blue, he suggested another top up of iron/calx. That seemed to work a bit but what really helped was a little bit of extra iron and some minor addition of oxygen. I think my vat was a bit over-reduced! Who knew that could happen? (Apparently the people over at Dharma Trading Co knew.)
Dani at Maiwa fine-tuned some questions for me and now the iron vat is purring along and producing knock-out blues. Dani and Sophia are a wealth of dyeing knowledge. No more synthetic indigo, for me.
I chose the iron indigo vat because it can work cold, and the others need to stay warm. The iron vat is also good for resist, because the resists can disintegrate in warm vats.
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