Frozen Pokeberries & Oak Galls

January 1, 2011

Its a bit cold, and as you can see from this picture.. it’s dark too!  The winter has moved many dye processes inside.  As it started to rain a few moments ago, I pulled everything off the dry line and moved into the studio/garage.  The wool has just come from a dye bath of vinegar and my frozen pokeberry harvest.  (My gorgeous 7 ft. tall plant, was dripping with berries this last autumn), I froze them and was waiting for the perfect wool to dye them in.  These skeins are from Reba, a lovely merino sheep who lives in Mendocino County, CA.

The letter K is a screen print that my brother and I created for my mother (Kerry), for Christmas.  I made a glorious ink with galls from a very manganese rich soil.  This ink has become a silk screen dream. I am very happy with the outcome.  It can undergo all kinds of washing and still hold a solid slate gray tone.

As you can see here the pokeberry wasn’t the only dye color I used.  As I began to exhaust the bath, the pink turned lighter and lighter, so I quickly dipped a few of these into my indigo vat– giving a modeled and violet hue to the wool.  I can’t wait to see this wool turn into the designer dress that its being created for!  More on that later..


4 Responses to “Frozen Pokeberries & Oak Galls”

  1. velma Says:

    beautiful wools, in hues luscious enough to eat, especially the mottled ones! would you consider discussing the making of ink for printing on textiles?

    • I’m combining ancient recipes, not yet quite ready to publish, but I can say the experiment so far is going well.. For your own investigation I highly recommend Leonardo Da Vinci.. he worked with this type of ink. ( I never do anything new!! it’s all old knowledge)

  2. Luz Bonta Says:

    Yes, I would love to know how the ink was processed “:)

  3. velma Says:

    oh, i see that it’s a gall ink…missed that before.

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