The natural dyes i made from the quince plant have been sitting in the fridge all weekend. So every time I open the fridge there it all is staring at me or me staring at it and I’m feeling bad because I can’t get to it. But you know I think I’ve just been afraid, and anxious to give it a go. I don’t really know what I’m afraid of but it’s new and it seems really complicated (messy) and that is probably what is making me anxious.
The very first time I tried to dye something was around 1980 and I was living in Hoboken. I got some turquoise procion dye in a little packet from Pearl Paint in Manhattan. It came with it’s own little bit of soda ash. It all seemed so complicated. I wanted to try batik. I melted some beeswax and painted this giant sheet. I think I painted a huge unicorn or something on it. Anyway I filled a small garbage can with dye and soda ash and water and put the sheet in. Then I left it there for like six weeks. I just didn’t know what to do with it. Everyday I would walk by it in the kitchen and have that same anxious feeling I just told you about. So one day I started to wring it out in the bathtub and turquoise was everywhere. Oh my god I was making a huge mess! I got a big old black garbage bag and threw the whole thing out. I was turquoise up to my elbows and very sad.
Okay way too much talk here but just one thing -I grew up not allowed to make a mess! No messes allowed! So sometimes I just get anxious when I make a mess. And that’s how it felt today. Like I was a little kid again making a mess and it was bad bad bad.
I had to force myself to get the quince dye going today. I put the rusty saw blade into my dyepot and then some fabric and boiled it all up for a while to make my iron mordant. Then I put it all into a steel bowl and made a citric acid mordant bath. I put some of my undyed roving into that pot along with some yellow silk (it was the lightest color I had), some rayon, cotton and a small piece of linen. I brought it up to a boil slowly so the fiber wouldn’t felt. Then I put some quince dye in. A little something happened and everything turned a slight beige color. I got really impatient and ran down and got some acid dye. I know, I know. I used forest green, peacock blue and purple. I couldn’t help it. I wanted color. Well I sure got it.
I still have a lot more quince dye left and I promised myself that I will be much more patient tomorrow with the rusty iron mordant pot. Till tomorrow then.