Saturday, February 27, 2016

Reveal Day for Viewpoints9-3

What follows here is my post for my answer to the current rotation of Viewpoints9-3 This latest challenge is to use natural dyes, tints, colors, stains...whatever you like...just natural.

This challenge was posed by Australian member Sue Dennis  Do yourself a big favor and go to her website.  Her work is wonderful!

Then if you continue in the 'treating yourself to wonderful', continue reading for Betty Busby's answer to the challenge.  I was gobsmacked!

If you go right now you can read it all ;^)  This challenge might be my favorite...but then I haven't posted the NEXT challenge's answer.  Hint:  Monochromatic.  Two months exactly to wait. 

Still Dry:

Still Dry detail
 Sue's challenge was, indeed, a challenge for me.  I avoid dyeing.  I support others who dye so brilliantly, and therefore, I have a wonderful stash and I don't worry about my immune system's uncanny ability to find strange, unheard of, crazily random reactions.

The challenge was posted while I was on holiday on a small island in San Pablo Bay, opposite Vallejo CA.  When the island was developed in the 1800's it served as the first US Naval port on the west coast, in response to Russia's trade in timber, moving from Alaska into N. CA.  Mare Island served as a military station and a ship building and repair yard until it was de-commissioned in the 1990's and became the property of the city of Vallejo.

Today Officer's Row, a splendid eucalyptus lined street boasting gorgeous mid-1850's homes, which serve as an inn, offices, a wine-tasting facility and private homes.  Nearby, also eucalyptus surrounded, is St. John's Chapel with 23 beautifully maintained Tiffany stained-glass windows.  Recently new homes have been constructed, a building was converted into a elementary school, a VA hospital moved into a new location and a large private university converted Army/Navy buildings into classrooms, labs and dormitories.  In short the place is hopping and will continue to develop with it's new ferry service directly to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

The part of this story that is relevant to Sue's challenge is the 150 year old stand of eucalyptus.  They are grand things, and while we were on holiday they were shedding their thin bark strips.

The timing was perfect.  Sue's challenge and my affection for eucalyptus.  I harvested armloads of bark, packed them up and shipped them home where I tried my hand at "non-invasive to my immune system" dyeing.  I decided the best tack would be to boil the chips in a big vat for several hours outside on my grille.  After sieving the broth into another vat, I boiled a cotton sheet with black printed leaves that I'd found at a thrift store and a piece of bright gold cotton for several hours.

My results were not flashy.  Indeed they were dull.  The white turned meh, a tad cream,  and the gold turned brass.  But I did like change.

Still Dry's color will probably not be permanent, surely could not stand up to repeated washings.

My theme, Exotic, continues to look at global warning and subsequent climate changes.  This piece is pieced with the dyed and commercial cottons, It is machine and hand stitched.