Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bark, bark and........more bark

After a busy time with friends and family over Christmas and Boxing Day, I've finally come out of the kitchen and into the garden. As many know you'd be much more likely to find my better half tidying up the garden but I ventured out. I started sweeping up but then got distracted (of course), and decided to collect some of the bark for future dyeing.

At this time of year the bark just falls off the gums in sheets, making a complete mess of the place but giving you wonderful patches of different colour on the tree trunks. I try to appreciate this when I look out on the debris in the pool!

I collect the bark in old plastic fruit baskets that have holes in them to help the air circulate while it dries, and then they are stored in the garage until I need them. Once you're ready to dye the bark gets soaked overnight in water before boiling the next day.
This reminded me of the piece of silk dupioni I mentioned previously that had been steeping in a mixture of lichens and ammonia for over a year. I brought it out from the back of the cupboard yesterday and got a pleasant surprise.

The fabric had been rolled up and tied along the length repeatedly then scrunched up to fit in the tub in a shibori manner - a once-off creation, I think!

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