nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

harvesting colour – oak and iron

with 4 comments


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As autumn approaches, I intend to shift my ‘harvesting colour’ experiments to ‘fall themes’.  I want to colour wool with ripe berries, autumn leaves and acorns.  I decided to begin with oak leaves.  They are still green here in New Brunswick, but I associate the oak tree, strong and ‘knowing’, with the maturity of fall.  I picked leaves from the Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) by our garage, a tree begun naturally, probably from an acorn buried by our squirrel population.

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DSCF3970_crop

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The dye in the pot was pale brown … I was certain the wool would be another shade of brown.  Hoping for variety, I added a liter of my iron acetate (horseshoe, nail and vinegar mix) and left the wool to simmer.  I forgot it on the stove, running to save it after a couple of hours.  And what I pulled from the dye water was amazing, a dark brown, almost black, length of wool roving.

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dark brown, almost black, wool, alum treated and simmered with oak leaf dye and iron acetate

dark brown, almost black, wool, alum treated and simmered with oak leaf dye and iron acetate

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Spun, it makes a lovely counterpoint to my yellow and light brown wools.

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spun wool, dyed with Goldenrod (yellow), Meadowsweet (peach) and Oak leaves/iron modifier (dark brown)

spun wool, dyed with Goldenrod (yellow), Meadowsweet (peach) and Oak leaves/iron modifier (dark brown)

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I am almost ready for my weaving project.  I have decided to arrange the bands of colour in alphabetical order so, in future, I will be able to better recall the plants used to make the dye.   When I look at the woven runner, I will remember harvesting the oak leaves from our tree and the excitement of seeing the dark wool lift from the pot.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 10, 2014 at 7:03 am

4 Responses

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  1. What a happy accident! The color is perfect for autumn…

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    September 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    • This dark brown reminds me of the strength of iron. … Oak and iron as in an iron-bound wooden trunk. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm

  2. Wow, what a rich dark colour! I can’t wait to see your woven runner. Wish we lived closer to one another…

    Like

    Carol Steel

    September 10, 2014 at 7:13 am

    • Hi … I’ll begin the runner one of these days, as soon as I finish winding my new warp. You’ll have to drop in and see it! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm


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