One of the students from my last dye class, Debbie Harpe, has agreed to write this post about her experience...
"Being a highly visual person, I enjoy experiences in life that heighten my awareness of the beauty found in the world around us. Last weekend I took Kate Smith's dye workshop on dyeing wool and silk, and it was indeed one of those experiences, Using the roots and flowers of plants, insects, and extracts we created dyes: indigo (blue), madder (red), cochineal (pink to scarlet), cutch (brown) , osage, yarrow and more (yellows), alkanet (purple), Saxon's blue, Saxon's green, bottle green silk and more.
When the indigo dye is ready to be added to the vat (photo above) , it has a mesmerizing purple and copper colored scum swiming on the surface.
Lowering the skein into the vat.....you can see it turning green.
Upon emerging from the vat, it is a yellow green color. The air hits the wet skein and it oxidizes and turns blue almost instantly.
First dip skeins airing.
Although I found the indigo process the most fascinating, the other colors we created over the course of the two days were just as beautiful. Here is vibrant bottle green silk.
Yarrow flowers ready for the dye pot.
Muted purple from the roots of the alkanet plant...shown next to the plant.
Beautiful Saxon's Blue pulled dripping from the vat...
....and cheerful yellows which were overdyed with indigo to creat vibrant spring greens!
Kate and Debbie ....at the end of two days hard but satisfying work!