The longer you don't blog the harder it gets to write again. So much has happened but it's all gone now. For good and bad. Mostly for good, 'cause most of the things that happened over the last months went from not so good to bad to worse. Up and down and up and down only that the up phases were not so up each time and the down parts took longer and longer. But as I said, gone for good - I hope.
On the bright side, I was printing with natural dyes on fabric. So far mostly test prints.
From waaay back I still had some Indian block print stamps from printing with deka fabric dye. Back in the 70s and 80s they were sold for decoration and you still could get them for a reasonable price. Then, loads of people decided it would be absolutely cool to buy one and the prices went up into nether regions I couldn't even begin to ponder. But when I looked now, after I got reinfested with the printing bug, now that I mastered the challenge of printing with natural dyes, they are being made again and you can get them on etsy directly from India. For a reasonable price. I just hope the crafts people in India get a more or less fair share.
BTW I would love to show you more pictures but my computer broke down in November with a faulty hard drive and I could save most of my data but as I found out afterwards, none of my pictures. I wept for days. I had most of them saved on an external drive but - as I found out afterwards - not all as I thought I had. With all what went on during the last months some things fell in between the cracks.
And since I wanted to try more printing techniques, I made my own silk screen stencil.
and this got me going. I love making the stencils. And I love the seemingly repetetiveness of the motive.
All of the above prints, I printed on predyed fabric (with natural dyes). But since I boil my fabrics after a while of curing I know that the prints are pretty much washfast. They don't crock and they seem to be rather lightfast as well. But I have to be careful with the fabric I choose. Most prints I did on vintage cotton which became very stiff with the handling necessary before and after printing. I might use it on pillow cases or bags now but not on a blanket. It works well on already soft cotton and on batist, be it from cotton, linen or ramie.
This one is done on harem cloth (cotton batist) with a katagami-like stencil I cut and then I painted the dye on. The background is some overoveroverdyed tannin, indigo, whatnot and the dye I used here is Bengala dyes. Admitedly not the such labeld bought stuff which is way too expensive but the simple iron oxide pigments they use in Japan. I got mine from Kremer's Pigmente, a store where you can buy all the dye painters use and it cost me about 1/10th of the price Bengala dyes cost.
And while I was on it, I also made a few christmas cards.
This time, I stencilled in several colours on a resist dyed indigo background. I love the effect and will certainly explore this angle more. Even though the dyes are pretty intense. Usually I prefer my colours a bit more muted. But everything natural ;o) The red is from stick lac, the blue is indigo (of course) and the yellow is rhamnus. The aubergine comes from logwood.
And speaking of christmas, I crochteted (yes, I can crochet, even if it isn't my favourite technique) two bears ;o)
Many years ago, I had already knot a teddy bear. Which was definitely a once in a life time experience.
As much as I like them, teddy bears are not my favourites to crochet or knit.
I sorted my planning for next year and will offer the "cotton dye and print with natural dyes" class in April and May. June I will be teaching in the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and July/August will be dyeing classes in German. As with all online classes you will be able to get back to the material forever, so there is no need to rush and you won't have to participate directly during class time. Though it is advisable if you want fast response.
I will set up a new online shop for english speaking customers within the next days. It is just not practial to combine it with my German shop.