Autumn Eqinox

My first experiment botanically printing on a silk and wool nuno felt cloth

My first experiment botanically printing on a silk and wool nuno felt cloth

I thought this was a wonderful photo to start a conversation about the Autumn Equinox……. which is today….it is a time for “Expansion, Freedom and Commitment” so says the Monthly Forecast I read from Lena Stevens www.thepowerpath.com  She says to “take some time to ritualize change” …..So I am blogging on this very powerful day to ritualize my change of intention, of heart, and letting go of fear and doubt……I have been reading Lena’s forecasts faithfully every month for the last 5 years. (she posts them on her website at the beginning of each month) I like to think of them as roadmaps for the soul thru these remarkable and chaotic times….I feel like they have been a gift.

This photo is the first really big (well for me) nuno felt fabric I did at the end of March 2013 after taking the lovely Marilou Moschetti’s workshop in early spring at The Tin Thimble shop www.thetinthimble.com where I learned a new no roll technique of felting. What a huge gift it was for me….

detail of botanically printed cloth

detail of botanically printed cloth

This process has intrigued me from the beginning and so I went on take a number of workshops this year all at The Tin Thimble….In May I took a workshop from India Flint that was a revelation on many levels……she suggested using milk on cottons as a mordant because of it’s simplicity of use….

This is my first experiment with cotton and milk

This is my first experiment with cotton and milk

This is a recycled cotton sweater soaked in milk…..unfortunately what I found was that the milk (being an animal fat?) has a tendency to be odoriferous (smell really bad) after the printing process….and difficult to clean out of the fibers….so now the sweater does not look quite this vibrant after repeated washings and needless to say, I love soy milk for this process….(I also used 1% fat milk and I think whole milk is better)…..experimentation, you gotta love it!!!

back side of sweater

back side of sweater

cottons take the plant dyes so differently than do the silks and wools and I really love them for it!

detail of front

detail of front

 

these definitely feel like Fall to me

Detail of Back

Detail of Back

 

So then I started thinking about how to really make this my own….(I mean really, how many variations of eucalyptus can you do? How can you make it different than just orange leaves on white silk?)…..I began to look around my studio which abounds with hand dyed fabrics…..

Botanically printed silk satin fabric

Botanically printed silk satin fabric

What I loved about this was how the orange shifted to a copper thru the pale grey….

Botanically printed silk satin

Botanically printed silk satin

 

I then took these fabrics and created a shawl to go with the dress (shown below) I created from the big silk and wool fabric (shown above)

Botanically printed sculptural wool dress

Botanically printed sculptural wool dress

and shawl that goes with it….I like the idea of juxtaposing a sculptural form with its antithesis, something very soft and flowing

Silver and Persimmon Pieced Shawl Botanically printed silk satin with vintage Obi and silk organza ruffle

Silver and Persimmon Pieced Shawl Botanically printed silk satin with vintage Obi and silk organza ruffle

Silver and Persimmon Botanically printed pieced shawl

Silver and Persimmon Botanically printed pieced shawl

 

And there you have it….just a few of the things I did early this year before May…..I am pleased to be back here at the blog post, see you next week…….. Happy Autumn!

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Autumn Eqinox

  1. Leslie Gelber says:

    Talk about gifts, you give us so many. Thank you mtu. Your work is so beautiful.

  2. melissa says:

    Thank you for your kind words…..

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