Every time I have a new project I try to learn something new from the process… Or at least I try to teach myself something new. There is always a story behind each piece.
Nuno Felted Coat: Wensleydale Wool, Merino, Uzbekistan Silk, Deer Antler Buttons with Indigo.
I made a beautiful collar for another Mother of the Bride. She lives in Maryland and it happens that she also raises Border Leicesters which have been used to create the collar below:
The brown collar was made with Wensleydale lambswool from JoAnn in Occidental, CA and then dipped in an Indigo Vat to get a blue background.
I swear I can’t ever get enough of these curls.
I had to admit, at some point I felt a little panic during the production of this dress (just a little). I tend to think about too many “what if’s” and I have to remind myself that I will be fine. I was checking my emails a few days ago, and the first email from The Mother of the Bride was on October last year. I met her in December and I agreed to design her a dress for her daughter’s wedding. Talking about a little pressure, right? I worked on it really slow and I took my time before walking to the next step. I guess I take dyeing for granted (since that’s what I generally do almost each week), because when I realized that it was the time to dye the dress, again my “what ifs” started to go around my head again. I don’t have a lot of experience with indigo. My friend Charmaine kindly spent an afternoon with me showing how she prepares her vat. So, I was on my own and I had to dye the dress with Indigo. I took my notes, and started my first indigo vat. So, one cold afternoon, I held my breath and I dipped the white dress in a stinky dark liquid hoping that the magic would do its trick for me… And it did!
The reds from the cochineal turned purple, the yellows from the Osage Orange turned green and the white wool and silk turned blue.
The making of this dress tought me a few things. One of them was feeling ok with using buttons to fasten the garment. And the other lesson I learned is being p-a-t-i-e-n-t!
The dress was modeled by my friend Gina.
And not only with botanical prints. We also focused on the use of different dyes like Madder, Indigo, Weld and Cochineal to add more depth to the already interesting looking prints that we get from the leaves. The class went really fast and the amount of information was sometimes a bit overwhelming, but it was all reinforced by putting into practice the information given in the classroom. Besides being a wonderful teacher, Irit is very generous with the information she shares with her students. I came back home tired, but eager to start playing with all the new techniques that I learned at Pacific Grove. Here are few of the pictures I took of some of the student projects made in this class.