Under Pressure

The garden, which is planted virtually exclusively with flowers this year, has moved into high gear. And so has the pressure to fire up the dye pot.

From start to finish it takes about 5 hours. Set up, gathering plants, assembly, simmer time, drying time and ironing time. So if I get one in a week I’m lucky. I may have to bump that up to two a week for the next month to catch all the things that are blooming in their prime.

I keep thinking about doing some experiments with a whole batch with only flowers and no greenery to speak of and vice versa. Or a whole batch with only Tomoe River paper. But I feel such pressure because of the time commitment to do a mixed bundle as usual because I know what the outcome will be… approximately.

Anyway, enough of my angst.

Here are a few papers from the latest batch:

The is a close up of a fern. They are very elusive plants in the dye pot. They really don’t give off color of their own, but if they are surrounded by enough color, reveal their silhouettes. Which means they resist color, which is just as valuable to me, because I love this effect.

Here are two facing papers. One gave the positive and one the negative of the plants for some reason. This was an unexpected result. Dill flowers and Coreopsis.

This next one illustrates the wonderful flow of color from the morning glories [which are deep purple on the vine by the way]. The other flowers are white clover blossoms.

And lastly, my absolute favorite of this batch….

Walnut, Coreopsis and Morning Glory. It’s hard to appreciate the detail of this in a photograph. The image is one of the sharpest prints of this year’s work. Here’s a closer look:

I am not in charge of outcomes in this craft. I can make guesses from experience, but cannot predict the end results, which is what keeps me at it. I have not become immune to the element of surprise. In fact I’m completely at its mercy at this point.

Not to mention I know that winter is coming and my opportunity to capture these images will end until the next season.

Art is sometimes a stern taskmaster. 🙂