Thursday, 23 April 2015

Unfoldings and a Steaming Pot of Red Cabbage

Sometimes a slow unfolding is required

This be-horned one has lain on my table for over a year, somehow I lost her along the way

But over the past few weeks, I have heard a whispering, though somewhat indistinct at first.

Whispers of a tale unravelling....

I sensed she was a shy one and so I stole away, ears straining hard lest I miss her murmurings and inspired to try dyeing with red cabbage, I filled a pot.

After simmering and steeping in the vat, I poured some of the dye bath into a jar and left fabric overnight, to steep further.

A little dyer's alchemy and the remaining vat turned a beautiful shade of teal (accompanied by a squeal of delight...)

The initial dip in the bicarbonate of soda and red cabbage vat yielded a subtle pale aqua

Then both vats decanted, I waited and prodded and waited....

The first three from the left were from the dye bath with bicarb added and two on the right were from the initial red cabbage only vat.

I love the subtlety and the variety of shades produced from the two dye baths.

 I offer her the bundle and wait...

Friday, 17 April 2015


"Now the king had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her mother, and had the same golden hair. And when she was grown up, the king looked at her and saw that she was just like this late queen: then he said to his courtiers, ’May I not marry my daughter? She is the very image of my dead wife: unless I have her, I shall not find any bride upon the whole earth, and you say there must be a queen.’ When the courtiers heard this they were shocked, and said, ’Heaven forbid that a father should marry his daughter! Out of so great a sin no good can come.’ And his daughter was also shocked, but hoped the king would soon give up such thoughts; so she said to him, ’Before I marry anyone I must have three dresses: one must be of gold, like the sun; another must be of shining silver, like the moon; and a third must be dazzling as the stars: besides this, I want a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur put together, to which every beast in the kingdom must give a part of his skin.’ And thus she though he would think of the matter no more. But the king made the most skilful workmen in his kingdom weave the three dresses: one golden, like the sun; another silvery, like the moon; and a third sparkling, like the stars: and his hunters were told to hunt out all the beasts in his kingdom, and to take the finest fur out of their skins: and thus a mantle of a thousand furs was made.
When all were ready, the king sent them to her; but she got up in the night when all were asleep, and took three of her trinkets, a golden ring, a golden necklace, and a golden brooch, and packed the three dresses–of the sun, the moon, and the stars–up in a nutshell, and wrapped herself up in the mantle made of all sorts of fur, and besmeared her face and hands with soot. Then she threw herself upon Heaven for help in her need, and went away, and journeyed on the whole night, till at last she came to a large wood."   
Excerpt from Cat-Skin - Brothers Grimm