June reds

June reds 3

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I had decided earlier that June would be the month I experimented with Cochineal. It seems that if I plan like this, it’s likely that I’ll follow through.

It isn’t always the case though, as I do have pieces I’ve planned or are still in process from months or years before. It’s just that I’ve learned that sometimes, if there’s a thing I want to explore and a certain season or likely conditions make it more possible, then, it simply has to be done (or something like that). At any rate, I marked June as the time for Cochineal – at least the time for beginning that exploration – however long that takes.

The approach brought to mind working with acid dyes and there probably is some correlation. While I have worked with other dyes, I’ve gotten used to the immediacy of indigo, so it was a different way to work.

The process went more quickly than  anticipated.  I had planned not to do any dyeing until probably Friday, but from the information gathered, it seemed that everything was in place and that I could go from the mordant to the actual dyeing earlier than planned.  So I took the risk and moved on.

The image here, shows a few silk pieces simmering in the pot.  It seemed that the dye color went deeper the longer they soaked.

It required patience on my part, as I so looked forward to the results and they were fairly unknown except for the hue. After seeing the results, I understand the ancients’ love affair (see Amy Butler Greenfield’s A Perfect Red) with that dye color.

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2 Responses to “June reds”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    how exciting! and thanks for directing me to butler, a future must read. did you notice she mentions lile’s book? a truly invaluable source

    • Susan Says:

      I’m enjoying it. I’m finding that there are, as per usual with a lot of dyes, so many different approaches and results. Butler’s website is wonderful – lots of good resources and information. I keep going back to it. I’ve got Lile’s book too – a great reference and another good place is this site: http://www.cochinealdye.com/. I guess you noticed my results were a little more on the purple side compared to Butler’s scarlet? Still a knockout rich color though. I’d like to shift to that more scarlet (without using tin) if I can. It will take some “playing” around with it.

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