eva, over at tinctory, got me thinking about dyebooks. my first dye book was a handmade blue jean paper sewn on linen tapes laced in a linen single sheet cover.
i decided to use it since it was irreparably altered by an anonymous autumn festival goer who spilled coffee on my table while i slipped away.
here you can see the windows cut into the spine of the cover revealing the pink linen sewing over linen tapes made from an old cloth.
the coffee damage was extensive. i wrote about my making of the book with papermaker peggy prentice (one of the original twins of twinrocker).
i love lichens, they keep their secrets. one of them is incredible pigment. umbilicaria dye, month long fermentation in ammonia and water. the folded page opens to reveal information about the yarn and dyeing particulars.
this is one strong dyestuff! my friends butch and pat bramhall made me some earrings out of silver and dyed porcupine quills. here: quills, cotton and linen cloth, silk thread, wool, mohair.
on cotton paper, birch bark, and woven raw silk from henry's attic.
an odd little weaving playing with wool, silk and birch bark.
my experience in natural dyeing lead to oceans of yellows and sad orange woolens, even from grapes. rita buchanan changed my understanding of dyeing in one important way: do not over cook or boil dyebaths, especially the red pigments, which become fugitive when heated above (oh dear, well below boiling, anyway).
more yellows from bloodroot. however, on handspun silk top it is exquisite.
over the years the soft pink has faded, even out of direct sunlight. probably because i boiled the tiny red dots instead of processing at low heat.
another vat dye: copper penny dye on my ewe lily's lincoln x fleece. and raffia.
these are the yellows i got so tired of. calendula. should have been stronger.
they are once again lovely on lily's fleece.
and at the end of the book, some fiber treasures: silk handspun, my first spun paper for shifu, a lock of hannah's hair, and spider's nest silk found by ian.
when i look through this book i remember the blank feeling i got from my friend dreamer telling me someone had spilled coffee on my table. the blue jean and linen papers have held up well for 25 or so years, despite the accident. and this book has gifts from both of my (then quite young) children.