A variety of results & progress around the shop...

The dyeing went wonderfully. The cats got into the skeins in the middle of the night, so they're looking a little bedraggled, but the colors took beautifully. I did a second round yesterday since the rig was already set up, where I tried various levels of dilution with spring water, and I love the results. Pastels on gleaming fibers, my dream!

They have a bit of "bedhead"...

They have a bit of "bedhead"...

Maybe I haven't gotten the hang of Parme Rose (some dyes are trickier than others), but I keep getting a camel-ish tone. It's lovely, but not as pink as I'd like.

Maybe I haven't gotten the hang of Parme Rose (some dyes are trickier than others), but I keep getting a camel-ish tone. It's lovely, but not as pink as I'd like.

Oh, that lavender, though...

Oh, that lavender, though...

I checked up on the salt-and-sequin pour. I find the result very humorous, but perhaps I've hit an end with this line of inquiry, at least for now.

Maybe a map of an island?

Maybe a map of an island?

These crystals are smaller and more uniform. I'm not a chemist but I assume the smaller puddle evaporated more quickly and didn't give it time to develop those lavish, massive encrustations from the earlier salt pour.

These crystals are smaller and more uniform. I'm not a chemist but I assume the smaller puddle evaporated more quickly and didn't give it time to develop those lavish, massive encrustations from the earlier salt pour.

My father picked me up some Aji-no-moto MSG (monosodium glutamate) from the Japanese market and I left this guy in the studio today to dry down overnight. I'm a huge fan of MSG conceptually and practically, though I use it extremely rarely in cooking (once in a while, a pinch in a pot of rice is magic). There's so much cultural and gustatory interest in the chemical for me; the idea of "umami" is fascinating; the branding of this flavor-awareness as Asian-specific is also fascinating. It's less neurotoxic and scary than people think. I'd like to play with MSG as a material for a while...

Dust from an old cup trapped in the solution.

Dust from an old cup trapped in the solution.

I unboxed some murrine I created in Kait Rhoads' fabulous workshop I took a few years ago and have been arranging them loosely while imagining some fused worry stones for anxious types like me. People are so fond of the idea of murrine being a cross-section, as well as the notion that it is drawn thinly to concentrate a pattern and give a high degree of intricacy. Of course this interests me, but I also like thinking of these murrine in a totally different way: as each individual piece being a prismatic little beacon that light shines THROUGH, giving geometric and colored light projections.

Finally, on my way out the door, caught the shop owners working hard on a Sunday night...

At-home silk dyeing with Sennelier Tinfix

It's the weekend. I'm going to do a little at-home project before I head out to the studio.

A few weeks ago, I picked out a few shades of French silk dye from Dharma Trading Co., plus some Synthrapol (a surfactant/excellent fiber cleanser), urea, and a couple of kinds of fluorescent acid dyes. Today I'm running a batch of silk threading that will be used for our everyday-wear pearl, bead and geometric crystal necklaces.

Sitting in the living room with the cats, measuring out a few skeins at different lengths. This is a size of thread that'll fit 11/0 seed beads perfectly and make for very fine, delicate colorways underneath clear glass.

Sitting in the living room with the cats, measuring out a few skeins at different lengths. This is a size of thread that'll fit 11/0 seed beads perfectly and make for very fine, delicate colorways underneath clear glass.

For these skeins, the ends can be trimmed off because we're not using it for stitching/weaving/anything requiring continuous thread. This makes it easier for me to handle, too.

For these skeins, the ends can be trimmed off because we're not using it for stitching/weaving/anything requiring continuous thread. This makes it easier for me to handle, too.

From left to right, Sennelier Tinfix dyes in Parme Rose 34, Indigo Gray 99, Cloud Grey 94, Indian Purple 43 (one of the most insanely saturated colors I have ever seen!). These cheapo foam brushes are great for dabbing on color.

From left to right, Sennelier Tinfix dyes in Parme Rose 34, Indigo Gray 99, Cloud Grey 94, Indian Purple 43 (one of the most insanely saturated colors I have ever seen!). These cheapo foam brushes are great for dabbing on color.

My kitchen rig. Upturned colander as steamer, our least-favorite ceramic plates as weights to hold the paper-rolled skeins in place. I have an electric water boiler continuously ready with the next batch of boiling water so the steaming isn't interrupted.

My kitchen rig. Upturned colander as steamer, our least-favorite ceramic plates as weights to hold the paper-rolled skeins in place. I have an electric water boiler continuously ready with the next batch of boiling water so the steaming isn't interrupted.

Check back to see what becomes of these silk threads. I'm thinking layered seed bead necklaces using beautiful transparent Miyuki Delicas, but we'll see....