After mentioning in the last post that the embroidery floss I used for the three Lichen Jar pieces are naturally dyed, I must admit that I've been stalking the Internet gathering information on how to dye with natural sources myself.
This process actually started when I was in college, trying to constantly make things not only from scratch, but from natural materials and from recycled materials. But, I then got into beeswax and making my own paper and that was the end of that (by the way, I'm still s.l.o.w.l.y. working on the fine art, it's just that I juggle so many interests at once). When I started needle felting, I inquired at my little local yarn shop about natural dyes and the gal mentioned that the shop didn't recommend natural dyes because the mordants were often so toxic (that they included heavy metals). So, I resigned to the fact that natural dyeing just wasn't for me. Then, recently, I found some dyers online who don't use toxic mordants and still are able to achieve beautiful results; Barefoot Shepherdess (who naturally hand-dyed the embroidery floss I started using) is one of them...you can find more blogs of gals that dye using natural sources on the left-hand column of my blog.
So, my recent endeavours into natural dyeing started with the tea-staining of my fabric that I use for my for your Wall pieces and Jars...but I also have a 5 gallon bucket full of black walnuts that have been steeping since the fall that I have to process. I also have oak trees that have galls on the undersides of their leaves...and the leaves eventually fall from the heaviness of the load that the galls put upon them. In the late summer and fall when I walk under the oak trees, I occasionally step on them and they POP. I've started to collect them as well. Last, but not least, I collected some bark off the ground from one of my parents eucalyptus trees on my recent visit...my mom believes that it is a lemon eucalyptus, but I couldn't confirm it, the leaves are so high that I couldn't test it out to see...or rather smell (yes, the leaves indeed smell like fresh lemon when touched or crushed).
Well, I have a bit to get myself started. Now, with the help of some books that I plan to get my hands on soon and some more internet research...let us see what happens!
By the way, there was an post on Modish today about natural dyeing. You can find it here.