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.