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Natural Dyeing and Non-Natural Dyeing

As I am working from home and sometimes limited with my choices in fabrics, I wanted to try and dye my own using my garden materials. My garden had been such an influence on my designs that I thought it would be a great idea to try and use the natural materials there to create the dyes. I wanted to create greens especially because I could not really find any berries or anything that would create a pink colour. So I tried a nettle pot, and a grass pot too, which did not really go too well.

The nettle one smelt awful, and even after a good few days I could not really get the colour out of it to make any difference to the fabric, the same happened with the grass, the water got a little coloured but did not impact on the plain linen at all.

I added more nettles and boiled for longer, tried a few things, I was not very precise with the original recipe so this may have had an impact on it. I ordered a dylon packet anyway in a lovely natural colour so I decided to give this a go instead.

The colour produced was quite a natural earthy green which I do like, but also my collection is a little brighter than this so maybe I should have tried a more tropical kind of green too to see the difference, which I think I would have done if I had more time with this project. I did try out some tie dye techniques however to test the idea of the texture into the cloth, and I think I could work with bleach and how it reacts to the newly dyed surface as well.

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Flowers Research and Drawing

I cannot believe that I forgot to properly cover flowers in my book, I did a couple of them and then I rearranged my photos, put them safe and forgot about fifty flower photographs that I had tucked away. I decided to start some markmaking and studies from them in my secondary book and explore the shapes and colours from the photographs that I took mostly in my own garden.

I enjoyed the watercolour experiments and playing with shade and contrast, although I think I preferred doing the things like the mushrooms and the berries. I do not think the flowers would be a huge part of the designs, just a small elements of some of them. So I think I am ready to take some ideas forward to Procreate now and see how things work there.

Spoonflower Contest – Aromatherapy

This week’s Spoonflower contest was aromatherapy, I do not know much about aromatherapy besides lavender supposedly helps with calmness and sleep, which is why I buy a lot of things with that scent. While I was researching I learnt more about the different essential oils and uses that can help with a lot of different things. I thought about what kind of smells I like, and started looking a few up, as I did not actually know what a lot of them looked like before they were put into the little oil bottles.

I started noticing quite a lot of flowers and decided maybe this was the way to go, I work with a lot of natural elements like foliage and branches and leaves, but I actually have not done too much with flowers and I do need to practice some because wildflowers are included in my graduate collection in some patterns I think. So I settled on Chamomile, Geranium and Yarrow, as I thought they were the most interesting and fun ones to do. I tried a really busy repeat where the background just wasn’t seen at all but I thought it looked way too much and busy.

So I tried a busy ish one here where there was not a huge amount of background left, but the negative space was used around each motif, and dots used to break it up a little. I also created this secondary design in the blue which was far more simple, I like this one too but I just did not feel the want to carry on creating patterns out of this and I wanted to move back on to my module work. I still feel like I could do more from my ice cream truck contest and I would like to expand this into some related themes too.