Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Day

Silk yardage with first layer of rust. Vinegar 5% straight with no salt

The rust maker and her elderly sugar daddy. Taken this month. Both squinting in the sun and pursing lips. Waiting for poetry to float from their mouths.

It is Tim's 59th birthday today. Happy Birthday S.D.!!!

He has just passed his first year cancer free. He is vital, has his lovely sense of humour and looks 40. This is the first birthday I have spent without him in so many years. I wish he was home.

I was feeling horrible this morning. Cancelled all appointments. I don't know if I am going to be able to do this drug.

Got up this afternoon and started the next phase of the rusting on the silk yardage. It is really crusting and making exciting marks. These will be pushed to the limit. Then will be dyed with rhubarb leaves which contain oxalic acid. It is highly toxic and will be done outside. There are twenty identifiable natural dyes in the yard including apple wood, buttercup, dandelion and a whack of others. I notice some ironwood on my walk today and expect to go with my clippers tomorrow.

I am going to experiment with the comfrey that has escaped it's confine and has spread through the yard. There is also roses and blackberry root.

I think I am going to be optimistic and harvest again this year. Have started drying some of the plants. Am also harvesting and creating rust and copper patination.

I did some research while at school regarding mordanting with natural urea. The Coastal people here used urine from babies squeezed from the moss. My people, the Irish, used something called Lant. It was carefully harvested at the end of the day from a physically hardworking and hard drinking man and left to ripen for two or three weeks.

I did this research with Judy Rosenberg, who is from the Sparrow family from the Musqeum nation. We tried dyeing porcupine quills, leather, feathers and wool. She gathered the traditional urine from her two year old daughter by chasing after her with the potty. The outraged child would have none of it. It took more than a week and delayed her toilet training for a long time.

I, on the other hand, got to try and talk hard working, hard drinking Irish men to wee in a mason jar. They screamed as loud as the two year old. I can convince! Mission successful but ...I don't know if you have ever smelled anything like that. Take the lovely fragrance that wafts from the back alley behind a tavern and you might get some idea. After two weeks times that by ten. I was gloved , masked and plastic wrapped through the dyeing experience!

Now you can buy urea at places like MAIWA. It comes in crystal form and has been mostly de-scented. Problem is I couldn't keep it in the house because my cats kept falling in love with the containers and yowled like banshees when I was using it.

My favourite natural dye expert is India Flint, the Austrailian artist. She wrote the wonderful book called Eco Colour by Interweave Press. She has the most beautiful blog.

Arlee Barr has been excelling with her residency at ACA. She is religiously posting her progress and experiments every day. I am in envy and awe.

Check out these most inspiring blogs

India Flint
found, stitched and dyed
not all those who wander are lost

Arlee Barr
Albedo~~~chronicles of concupiscientia oculorum

1 comment:

arlee said...

I remember Cheryl Samuels coming to Cap and telling us about having to explain to border guards why she was carrying a pot of pee to a workshop :)
Thanks for the lovely words, dear P, too about me and mine !