Late Summer Oak and Cosmos
October 14, 2010
The fecundity of fall–a time of vibrant color from the living and the dead. The cosmos flowers are giving their last hooray before the close of the warm weather. Orange petals abound– the source of a beautiful range of yellow, orange, and gold dye colors. These flowers can be dried or put into the dye pot right off the plant.
Oak galls can be harvested in plenty this time of year from the forest floor. They are so extremely abundant– and rich with tannins. The compounds they contain produce a range of dark silver grays, and almost-blacks, depending on how you process them.
Pouring hot water over the flowers and letting them soak for 20 minutes is enough time to create a dye color.
This cotton sample was washed– and left unmordanted before it was painted upon. Oak gall and iron water was brushed upon it (the black), the cosmos flower dye was brushed on top. After rinsing, this was the outcome.
This was the oak gall and iron water that was thickened and then screenprinted on a washed and unmordanted piece of cotton. This simple form illuminates the beautiful and strong color that emerges from the gall.