Tuesday, 4 January 2011

No Man is an Island…

you just have to work out what language to speak in….

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For some time now I have been admiringly appreciative, in all the correct, inspirational ways – not plagiaristic – of the monthly pallet posts made by Alison Yule in her blog Pure Tinctoria. 

I have been incredibly inspired by not only the mechanics of how she has achieved these very clear, clean pallets, but her comments about the natural dyed colours that she uses or is inspired to use to achieve artistic fulfilment. 

A couple of weeks ago, I sat looking at a whole pile of lovely photos of mine, which I had managed to get inspiration from for acid dyeing, and wondered how on earth I – as a relatively newbie natural dyer was ever going to work out what colours were achievable from these amazing extracts that I have discovered.  That is without buying them all and test dyeing with them, which could prove not only costly, but of more concern – not time efficient!

I wanted to get back to her and speak to her, in her and other natural dyer’s language, but my pitiful test colour sheets were somewhat lacking in clarity.  A bit like my initial attempts at natural dyeing!

I had the brainwave of emailing her, but suspect she was away or busy, or that it was a trade secret, and not wishing to pursue that line of enquiry, shelved the project.  Until the weekend that was…

I was fiddling around with T’s computer (nothing serious, just tweaking) and I found a colour palette selector site.  Brill – just what I was looking for.  Unfortunately it was impossible to use easily and I couldn’t transport the images to any programme under £500.  Oohps. 

So I had another brainwave.  I asked Twitter and Facebook for help.  Well you came up trumps – again… I had oodles to choose from, and PicPerfic came up with the perfect site…Colour Lovers.  I have found that I can buy a download programme, but the free one came up with just what I needed by pasting screenshots word, trimming them accordingly, and then fitting in a title with artwords. 

I scanned the montage in… and you proudly before you at the top of the post the compilation.  This was a picture from Dartmoor a couple of months ago before the snows and bad weather. 

So all you have to do now, is guess the dyes I need to produce to match the colour swatches – simples.  But any thoughts, either with natural or acid dyes – appreciated and I will give it a whirl…

I discovered this afternoon, that whilst I may love the bright bold colours of natural dyes, I am loathe to experiment with the brown and dowdy ones.  Of course I need both in my pallet, but my eye is not naturally drawn to them.  So ideas please – I need the discipline of producing both.

I have a rather manky Goldenrod which is proving to be a deep sage green, and Persian Berries, which are a lovely subtle yellow.  A friend of mine has suggested she might show me where to look for this growing wild.  Hopefully with more time on my hands this year, this is an offer I will enjoy taking advantage of. 

In the meantime – thoughts on the above please… Winking smile

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