Oak leaf ‘prints’

Following Rebecca Burgess’ instructions for a fall dye starter from Harvesting Color, I pulled out my rusty nail solution and, given the difficulty of collecting maple leaves nearby, took the opportunity when I was passing a street where oaks had been planted as street trees. 


I wrapped my bundle and put it in a jar of vinegar and rust nail water on 16 December (that’s it beween the rusty nail jar and the hibiscus dye jar).  Now to see what happens.  I have to say it is a mystery to me why my rusty nails, which were…rusty and orange… have produced a black solution over time in my case.  I have added more vinergar and water to the nails and the black particles have settled out in the bundle jar overnight in this photo.


After two weeks in the sun, my rusty water looks more rusty (and you can just see my bundle in there):


And yes, I did get a leaf print, albeit a mostly very blurred one.  The colour is impressive, but I think this is a clear case of time (unusually) not being the dyer’s friend.  Rebecca Burgess suggested 2-3 days and I left this for 10-11 days, which suited me but not the process.  I will be sure to try again and be more obedient in my instruction-following!


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