Eco prints with eucalyptus and walnut on wool

The wool came from a recycled sweater, part wool jersey and part lamb’s wool. I mordanted the wool in alum for several days, cut the sweater into sections and bundled each section over a variety of supports: copper pipe, catalpa pods, dried corn cob, stripped cherry wood branch, eucalyptus stems, rough bark-covered branches. Acorns, rusty iron nails and staples were bundled in also.  The bundles were tightly wrapped in lots of cotton string (to give many kinds of marks), then steamed a while first over plain water, then simmered in a walnut dye bath. The outside of the bundles became rich dark brown, and areas  inside ,softer browns and greys from the walnut dye. The eucalyptus gave yellows and the iron bits, greys and blacks; the catalpa and the corn gave red-browns. Not sure about the copper – maybe it greened up the yellows to  bright acid yellow from the eucalyptus.  Some pics:

I snuck in a sprig of fern with the round Baby Blue leaves: they gave yellow and the fern gave greys:

2.  A range of browns and greys from walnut, yellow-greens from Seeded eucalyptus and blacks from rusty nails etc.:

3.  Dark brown walnut on the outside of the bundle, yellow euc’s and a circular print from an acorn cap:

4. Similar results but some blue-grey-black from the iron marks thrown in:

5. I like the contrast in this little wool canvas:

6.  The rusty iron bits leave great marks – and so does the acorn cap:

7.  Complex layering of marks and colours on  this small canvas:

8. This eco print made me think of the poem by William Blake:

Tyger, tyger, burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Framed thy (awful?fearful?) symmetry?

9. Another view of the fern-eucalyptus print: a delicate and understated area, a contrast to the strong stripes in brown. It looks like a flowering bough.

 In  their next stage these small eco printed wool canvases will become one larger textile,  stitched and maybe felted. But that will be later in the winter when the garden plants are under snow and prints will be made from the materials in the stash – or at the florist.

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About wendyfe

I am a fibre artist working in mixed media textiles with a focus on vintage cloth reworked with stitching, natural dyeing, eco printing and rust printing . My work can be seen at www.wendyfeldberg.ca.
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