Well, I was stung by the comment from a viewer of my “Forest Floor” installation that it looked like a “line of washing”. Since making silk purses out of sows' ears is a textile artist's dream, I took up the “line of washing” challenge and applied it to a stash of eight old white tee shirts, almost ready for dusters and floorcloths…
An elegant Korean pear tree in my garden, mighty stressed by the drought (note the dead grass) and going into early leaf fall, became the clothesline. BTW, the green you see amid the dead brown grass is self seeded perennial geranium which makes terrific tiny ground cover if you cut it with the mower to keep it tiny.(The water you see is a pond off the Rideau Canal beside which my garden grows)
I gathered leaves from sumac, roses, geraniums, blackeyed susans, prunus cistena, maple, dried eucalyptus and red amaranth, along with whole long stems of early Golden Rod. I placed a mix of plants inside the tee shirt, bundled it over copper pipe or itself, and steamed the bundle for two hours. Lots of yellows and yellow greens! Some more contrast was in order.
Having learned afrom Amelia Poole (see blogroll) about the magic of iron as a colour value developer i dunked the bundle in water modified with iron liquor until the yellows turned to greys or sage greens or deep lavender charcoal grey. Punky-edgey!
Here are four of the tee shirts, straight from the steamer, no rinsing, and left to dry in the hot sun before being washed in Orvus Paste and well rinsed.
Details of the prints:
Fun with repairing the holes in the tee shirts: some heavy free machine stitching to create a solid darned base in a neutral colour, then some threaddrawing in black with on top.
And some plants that supplied the colours:
Golden Rod with magenta phlox a d white phlox beside one of my husband's funky RRR /Green sculptures, and hiding the tomatoes.
Black Eyed Susan with Scarlet Bee Balm and white veronicastrum (natives) and white, late-summer August phlox that came three weeks early because of the heatwave. Note the dead grass. While the flowers are very drought tolerant.
And one last lovely solidago, another drought-tolerant native
That's it for today, dear readers. Lots to look at but I was making up for my blog drought!
Next time, maybe more tee shirt restoration plus video from “Forest Floor”