Elderberry dye and mordanted romney marsh wool

   
 From this……. 

 
To this …..

Tomorrow we are going to make some vessels inspired by sea anemones like this …”.. 

 

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Making things from locally sourced materials…..and coming up with ideas for a pop up market….

 Edit  
Obviously we are trying to keep our feet on the ground…but we are inspired by:

The church – this lovely brass engraving is in All Saints church Lydd

The landscape – Romney Marsh has so much amazingly varied landscapes and views

The sea – we want to include references to the sea in the work we produce

Local materials – we are using wool from Romney Marsh sheep, collected fruit and vegetables to dye the wool, hedgerow materials to make baskets, willow to make plant supports, decorative fish stars eats and baskets,  plant materials to inspire patterns, drawings and prints

   

The wool turned into a delightful little yellow jug and we photographed it inside All Saints church and next to a black & white photo of the church!

The basket is an example,of us  learning some new weaves such as ‘ chasing’ for the sides and a simple trac border ….. 

 luckily parents and carers at Brookland school got a chance to finish their baskets with handles…..
  

And someone in the group managed to complete a boat basket too

Making more wool dye today…..

I’ve been given some frozen elderberries from last year and I’ve boiled them for 1 hr to release their juices 

 as you can see they are incredibly deep red and I’m hoping this will transfer to the mordanted wool

   
 
Next I’m going to boil the wool then simmer for 1/2 hour in the juice plus water to cover the wool and then…..results to follow

Mordanting wool

Today is the day – we are going to do some more experimental veg/ fruit dyeing. 
As Summer ambles along bringing loads of exciting produce and flowers we are thinking:

 brown fennel

Elder berries

Red onion skins

Hibiscus/ Mallow flowers

Blackberries 

Marigolds (deadheaded so you can appreciate the flowers first)

Goldenrod

Dyers coreopsis

Hollyhocks (dead headed)

Madder ( need to get these plans growing in the Spring)

Comfrey ( love this plant)

Wild carrot

Sea kale

Mint
I’m currently using this recipe to prepare the wool 

 25g alum2 tsp cream of tartar (optional, an acid modifier used to brighten colour or some natural dyes)

1 litre water, or enough to cover

Place the alum and cream of tartar into the pan with a little boiling water – the heat helps the compounds dissolve. Stir until completely dissolved. Add enough water to cover the yarn and stir thoroughly.
Add the clean raw romney marsh wool
Squeeze the excess liquid from the yarn and transfer to the pan. Heat the liquid slowly and simmer gently for 1 hour.