About Blog Title...
As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
What if zinnia blossoms from the garden (actually, these had been frozen for almost a year) were pressed onto pre-mordanted* cotton muslin, bound up tightly into a bundle, put into a pot containing black walnut dye, and cooked?
I think the photos above (untouched) taken of this sample after it was pressed with a hot iron between layers of paper is quite beautiful, and colorful enough to cause even Georgia O'Keeffe to take a second look.
*Mordants or adjuncts are substances that act as a bridge, or bond, between the molecules of the fibre being dyed, and the substance that is being used to dye it. Eco Colour ~ India Flint
Protein (animal) fibers, such as wool and silk, have a natural affinity for plant dyes because the molecules that make up proteins (and alkalis) have a positive bonding point available, whereas acids (in the plant dyes) have a negative. Opposites attract, so when combined these are a match made in heaven and will form what is known as a 'polar bond.'
Although a stain from a plant dye can often be achieved on the surface of a cellulose-fibre textile (cotton, linen, etc.), it won't necessarily form a permanent bond with the cloth; like trying to push two magnet ends of like polarity together. Therefore, to dye a cellulose fibre, a protein or an alkali (a mordant) of some sort must be present on the surface of the cloth for the plant dye to bond with. Second Skin ~ India Flint