In the post last June, I showed the silk swatches I dyed along with the dilemma of how to present them to enter a show in China. You can see it HERE
A Ring of Silks
I did get into the show! That means sending it to China! The title of the show is “Contemporary Art and Design Exhibition: Natural Dyes and Colors of Nations”. I assumed my pieces were the colors of old China. It will be in November at the Chinese National Silk Museum in Hangzhou, China. My ring began as a hoola hoop!
Every piece started out as white. I used different white silks to get many shades in one dye pot. The dyes are the result of my experiments when researching old European dyes from a book, The Colorful Past. I was looking for natural dyes that might have been used in early China.
I made 48 separate dye baths for the project, each one using a different dye recipe or variation. There was a total of 720 samples.
A sack of bran, a handful of sumac, and three buckets of clear rainwater, are examples given in the old recipes. I had to estimate the size of “a handful” then estimate what weight that would be for sumac.
I used a contemporary dye book , The Art and Science of Natural Dyes, by Boutrop and Ellis to help with the vague descriptions and proportions in the old recipes.