so so blue Indigo

There are probably as much recipes for indigo vats as there are for German potato salad, and its an art in itself to get a successful indigo vat going, the same applies to a good German potato salad. This time I started a vat with indigo powder (obviously), fructose and lime (calx).

The bronze surface appeared on the liquid, but only a few little blue bubbles (also called flower). I did a test to see if it worked.

dyeing with indigo by Birgit Moffatt
after 2 dips, I did a little resist with a marble

dyeing with indigo by Birgit Moffatt dyeing with indigo by Birgit Moffatt
take the marble out

dyeing with indigo by Birgit Moffatt
voila, rinsed and dried

nuno felt indigo by Birgit Moffatt nuno felt indigo by Birgit Moffatt
Next I dyed a white nuno felted scarf. I love the texture against the sun and the shade of blue. I find quite successful although I may dip it another couple of times to see if I can get deeper shades of blue.

 

 

eco print time

Here are my latest eco prints, this time on pure (means 100%) silk. I have used eukalyptus leaves but also tried some New Zealand native trees and bushes (well, only the leaves).

eco print on silk by Birgit Moffatt
Eukalyptus

ecoprint on silk-15 eco print on silk by Birgit Moffatt
Mingi Mingi

eco print on silk by Birgit Moffatt
Mako Mako (my absolute favourite today)

eco print on silk by Birgit Moffatt
Eukalyptus with Pohutukawa (stamens)

ecoprint on silk-20 MakoMako eco print by Birgit Moffatt
I will have a small selection on display (yes and for sale) in my studio at the Kapiti Arts Trail.

eukalyptus on merino knit

There is such a large variety of eucalyptus species and every eco print with those leaves will give different results, depending on the time of picking the leaves, the region, and the kind of water to simmer the bundles in. There is already so much written about it and I am not a scientist understanding the chemical side of eco printing, so I just did a little test with the same leaves dyed in the same pot, the same lengths of time, the same fabric (merino knit) . The only difference is that I soaked one fabric in iron water  over night, the other not.

eco print detail by Birgit Moffatt
This is the fabric not soaked.

eco print detail by Birgit Moffatt
This is the fabric soaked.

Which do you like better?

Deconstructive screenprint on paper

Deconstructive screenprint (DSP) is a technique developed by American fibre artist Kerr Grabowski, its a technique to apply dye on fabric with a silkscreen. This technique is more environment friendly because the thickener is a natural product called manutex, which is actually kelp. No toxic emulsion is needed to set up the screen. And its easy to clean. Disadvantage is that once the dye has “deconstructed” from the screen to the medium, a new screen has to be prepared. Therefore its more time consuming but results are always unique and cannot be repeated. If you are interested to learn more about this technique have a look at Kerr’s website.

I have done some tests on fabric (cotton works best) but also find it works beautiful on paper. So I gave it a go to do some unique little prints.

DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt
Anything flat with texture can be used to prepare the screen, like leaves, plastic bags, bubble wrap or string.

DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt

The prepared screen has to be completely dry before printing (in the image the thickener with added dye powder is still wet).

DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt
I was so excited with the finished prints, lovely colors, lovely texture.

DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt DSP on paper by Birgit Moffatt
Even the details look gorgeous.
Some of them will be available for sale in my studio on the Kāpiti Arts Trail.