Monday, October 15

It's the Waiting that Kills Me

India Flint recommends that bundles be left to "rest" for a couple of days after coming out of the dye pot, before unwrapping them, in order to realize their full potential.

I think it's safe to say that all my bundles are underachievers, as it's nearly more than I can do to wait until they are cool before opening the little beauties.

So, the other night, 11:30 p.m. seemed just as good as 7:30 a.m. for unwrapping. Besides, I reasoned, I'd sleep better if I wasn't wondering what magic had occurred while this block of yumminess had been cooling for six hours.
This batch of 36 pieces of paper had been layered with leaves that were pressed overnight between the pages of the hefty new Restoration Hardware catalog (a wonderful way to study their fall offerings) and then wrapped between two pieces of cardboard that were slightly larger than the size of the paper. Loosely following the technique I read about on Cassandra Tondro's site, this bundle was steamed rather than boiled for about three hours.
However, I could see that the pages didn't have that delicious dark edge that comes from being simmered in the dye pot, so after the steaming, into the dye pot they went for about an hour.
I'm not sure if the results are from the steaming or the boiling, or even the pressing, but I'm really happy with the rich, sharp prints that this batch yielded.

 There was a chunk of salvaged iron in the bottom of my dye pot and a splash of vinegar in the water, but nothing else was added, and I forgot to dampen my paper before layering my leaf sandwich, so the paper was dry when I started the process.

20 comments:

  1. I really love this eco-dyeing. so wish i could come and play with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very, very pretty. I am impressed! And you are not alone in your impatience!! lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know me....I can't wait to unbundle either! This is an inspiring post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia. I thought of you while working outside over the weekend. And every single time I wrap a nine bark leaf into a bundle!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cat. I love the work you've been doing in your journal too. Have you tried any of the natural dyeing?

      Delete
  5. RH catalogues are the best weights!
    Your work is lovely...no need to fear
    reckless abandon on opening early! it worked.
    Just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. it's the boiling that really does the trick - we had fab results here in Cleveland at the Morgan - leaving bundles to rest is really only applicable to cloth...leave paper too long and everything sticks together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy! Guilt-free opening of my presents!

      Delete
  7. Dear Leslie, How I wish I could spend the day with you to make magic like this. These colors are too beautiful for words! sending love and wishes for another magical day.
    roxanne

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are so awesome...really glorious! I'd say worth the wait. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. gorgeous. the colors you've chosen are indescribable.


    ReplyDelete
  10. I am almost afraid to ask, but, how is Atticus?

    ReplyDelete
  11. these pages are breathtaking and the books, beautiful! i am so intrigued by the process!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know this is way after the fact but then I only took your eco-dye class at Wild Acres last October. Your recipe states what is in the pot and I can't see how any copper was used. So this technique works even without copper?

    ReplyDelete