Friday, January 12, 2007

It's a good day to dye!

We managed a few good dyeings this year, though not nearly as many as I’d have liked, mainly due to a full calendar and highly variable weather for ourdoors work. The Blue Nails Dyers Guild held a couple of dye days at Pitzer Arboretum gardens, one of the many Claremont Colleges, where we had loads of fun. This enjoyable outdoor venue is arranged courtesy of Ruth Schooley, a college complex librarian.

I’d hoped to get more work done on our on-going dye demo samples this year and even be nudged by Sherry Acton-Snowden into making that sample book. She plans to raid my baskets full of older dyed samples, putting them in booklets for better reference. Yay! This project is moving forward slowly with Sherry putting mordanted samples together for dyeing to show how dye colors change with the different mordants. You can find out more about mordants at our Griffin Dyeworks site. Maybe we’ll have more dyeing in 2007...

Last January Kathryn and I helped the Mount Wilson Girl Scouts with their Cookie Kaleidoscope Kick-off event in Arcadia Park, with the much appreciated help of Theresa Boscia, one of our webwrights, and John Trimble, all around water-schlepper and good sport. Various crafts were offered by companies and groups, including Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts showing how to dye quilt or pocket squares with fiber reactive dyes. Natural dyes take too long to develop to use at a demo where the public – particularly children - has the attention span of gerbils.

When it started sprinkling, a few scaredy-cats packed up and left, but lots of Scouts stayed. Our craft was already wet, so though the rain got heavier, we stayed to the last, and are invited back for 2007. John, Kathryn and I also went to Simi Valley to help a group of Girl Scouts and Brownies get their textile badge/patch, since dyeing qualified as one of the textile crafts. Their dyeing enthusiasm included the puzzled willing Australian shepherd pet of the site owner. I assured her that the dye would not harm the dog and would eventually wear off his fur.

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