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. 

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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.

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

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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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