Nearly done, and some history

PouchThe Dragon pouch is nearing completion. Two more fingerloop braids for the drawstrings, bulk up the tassels and some reinforcing around the closure and I will be done. I am pleased with my effort. Thank you Tania for the kit that made it possible. I have kept all my scraps. They seem very precious. I have learned a new technique which is fun to do and presents possibilities for even more animals and new projects.

Now for an explanatory ramble…

But my focus must remain firmly on colours. I have a dream to be good at making and using natural pigments, paints and dyes.

I was first inspired by books like the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells. As a girl I loved picture books. Not childrens books; factual books and encyclopedias. There was an element of excitement attached to the encyclopedias in my childhood home. They were kept in my older sister’s room so I had to sneak into her room to look at the glorious colour-plates. In the early 1960’s colour images in books with were not so common as they are now and I was blessed to grow up in a home that had books with coloured pictures… but, they were in my sister’s room and she did not like sharing. Oddly – it never once occurred to me to take one from her room to mine – she would have noticed the gap and then I would be banned from her room and (to my child’s mind) the glorious medieval pictures would have been forever unattainable. So I would sneak in and sit on the floor with the pictures on the open pages of the books spread around me, just gazing at them. I loved those images.

Much, much later in life I learned about how Eadfrith obtained such a huge range of colours from so few natural resources. It was one of my lifes’ defining moments. I wanted to learn that knowledge. In the coming months I hope to share some of that journey here.

My dye garden is growing slowly, only my indigo and henna seeds germinated which is a bit disappointing. The lady who sold me the seeds has promised replacements for the weld, woad and madder. They will arrive too late for this season sadly, but I will be able to start them off under a cold frame early next spring, and meanwhile I will be able to practice with the indigo and henna, two colours I particularly enjoy together. There are numerous wild colours I can harvest as well, dandelions, plantains and other weeds are plentiful at the moment so I will be freezing bag-fulls of flowers, leaves and roots.

I may not finish my pouch tomorrow, I need to bake and there is a farewell party in the afternoon. I have promised myself I will have it finished for Christmas.

This entry was published on December 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm. It’s filed under Dyeing, Embroidery, Pigments and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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