The fields and ditches of Ontario were yellow with Golden Rod in late September. How not to pick some? A trip of some 700 kilometers and acres and acres of gold like this to look at:
An armful of Golden Rod gathered from beside the road and a potful of (park) marigolds, deadheaded, gave plant materials for immersion dye baths as separate colours and mixed. Most dye authors advise that it is OK to mix any yellow dyes and so I tried it with my vintage tablecloths described in these October posts. I wanted to try eco prints on both coloured textiles and white ones. So far, I have eco printed only naturally dyed textiles, the ones I have dyed myself using garden or foraged plants.
Golden Rod can be used a few times to extract dye. This batch of linen was dyed with a mix of marigold and golden rod colours. For one contact print with the Golden Rod plant, I first dyed the vintage linen in a long cool soak in a Golden Rod/marigold mix dye. I left the cloth for two weeks in the dye bucket while I was busy with an art show. Then I used the cooked Golden Rod material for the contact print. For a second contact print on another vintage cloth, I laid out fresh Golden Rod on white linen :
After dyeing and /or eco printing a couple of times with the Golden Rod, a began using maple and other leaves to obtain another layer of prints: there are lots of images! They continue to show the linen panels in my “Forest Floor” series:
1. A broken, layered image of a maple leaf. I like the “incomplete” effect. And the white damask woven motifs reflect the light. Another layer of interest to exploit for meaningful content in the art work.
2. Delicate. Ephemeral. Fragile. Like the linen.
3. A transparent effect to the marks in this one.
4. More broken marks – and a water colour effect
5. Marks of a memory of a leaf
6. Somehow, a bird flew in…
7. Golden yellow and dark brown marks from a red and green leaf…
8. Swirls of marks. The dark brown pointillist effects are from the Korean pear leaf, wearing red and brown for Fall.
Other marks and colour effects
To some vintage linen panels (dyed and printed as above and as shown in the previous day’s post) I added a tablespoon of iron liquor (rusty nails in 5% vinegar) to shift the colours to grey-green, and a dropperful (dropped here and there on the textile) of copper sulphate (copper pipe bits in 5% vinegar) to shift the hue towards a brighter green, as in these four examples:
1.Interesting variations – I like the splashes of yellows (copper) and the greying (iron) of the pointillist marks
2. You can see a leaf print in the top left corner…the iron gave the damask a look of well-shone pewter, a warm , low sheen. Delicious, silky, touchable.
3. Another layer of marks and colour to add interest4. Another view of the previous iron-modified eco print:
Eco prints from other plants
Now an eco print made with Fall asters (Michaelmas Daisies) and red marigolds on Golden Rod-marigold dyed linen: first the dye, then the ecoprint, as before. Note that the greens (below) are quite different from the green-yellows of the previously- shown prints. These greens come from the calix of the marigold. Rather more green comes from the calix here than orange from the flower petals. Is that because these flowers are day-length and temperature sensitive? In July, the orange is far more assertive than the green. In October, green rules! I understand from my studies that frost-touched marigolds give spectacular colours. I am looking forward to the frost – only for that. The bright yellows in this eco print are from the Fall asters:
And here are some images of the flowers used for this eco print:
…and asters, pink and purple:
“Aster” means “star”
Last pics in this series of eco prints on vintage linen are of oak leaves. Hmm. I will have to try these again and maybe other kinds of oak – these leaves were large and very green and waxy…but I did NOT get a good impression or colour transfer… so that is a fine challenge for future dye experiments. Meanwhile:
Oak leaves eco print
I photoshopped this image to crank up the contrasts; it is much less distinct in reality:
More oak eco print on vintage linen, as before, pre dyed with marigold and Golden Rod:
I used nine oak leaves for the eco print but only two (above) made any impression. Next time, I will ensure that each leaf is in tight contact with the textile surfaces when I steam the bundle.
Walnut leaf eco print on mari-Golden Rod dyed vintage linen (another image photoshopped o improve the contrast):
Last note: Here is the whole “Forest Floor” collection of eight vintage linen panels. During the winter ( o those long cold snowy nights without dye plants to gather…) I hope to be stitching some of them, taking them to the next stage of cloth as memory and pilgrimage.
Next dye sessions will be with more Fall plants and on silk as well as vintage linen; some experiments with walnuts; some eco prints on paper and some preliminary stitch work on the eco printed panels I have done this summer and fall.