Experiments with E Cinerea

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It all began with a trip to the Adelaide Hills to visit a friend who had just moved into a new house one weekend.  On the way, I saw a massive E Cinerea with a huge variety of leaf types and sizes.  On the way back, we made a brief stop to harvest a few of the leaves overhanging a car park.

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That evening, we went to my parents’ for dinner, and I asked my father if he had any metal disks.  He helpfully offered quite a range of recycled washers and then asked a lot of questions.  I underestimated his interest in understanding what I’m doing and how he could help me out!  This led him to suggest bottle tops (up there for thinking!  Why didn’t I have that thought? Surely I have heard this idea before…).  He also offered me clamps.  He really felt that bulldog clips (my suggestion) might not be strong enough.  He had a collection of tired old clamps he didn’t want, so I chose some and headed home with all kinds of ideas.

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There was ironing and folding and general faffing, until I crammed all I could into the pot.  The pot, it must be said, is not designed for G clamps in large sizes and numbers.

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I like the results a lot, though when you try any approach new to you, there is always a lot to experiment with. Perhaps the bulldog clips would actually be better?

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In this piece the holes in the piece of metal I used have allowed the dye bath in to create dots…

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I tried some silk…

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And I love these strips, inspired by Jude Hill’s indigo moons. Only different.  I found myself wondering what shape I would really like to create, and answering with the thought that the shape of a leaf is very difficult to improve upon.  I love leaves so much.  The second round hit the dye bath in double quick time!

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22 Comments

Filed under Dye Plants, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing

22 responses to “Experiments with E Cinerea

  1. SubmarineBells

    The silk sample and the strips (last 2 pics) are particularly spectacular! Beatiful!

    Like

    • Thanks Submarine Bells! I am really happy with these and you can bet I have made more strips already, and then some more are sitting ready to open later… I am still trying to figure out what to do with this kind of silk. It is quite thick but to my mind not very robust. It was a gift from someone who couldn’t figure out how she could use it. I am wondering if I make some bags with bases and handles out of something more robust and side panels of silk glory…

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  2. Liz

    You got some amazing results and certainly must be beyond delighted. I look forward to seeing where and how you use them!

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    • Thanks, Liz! My mind if buzzing with ideas for these panels… I have a quilt top in progress they could be part of. I have started to wonder about small square patches on a few items that could use patching… I have bag ideas (I always seem to have bag ideas)… I just wish I could magic up an eight-th day of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like what you are doing, really must get myself motivated.

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  4. Chrissy Guzzi

    I constantly look for E.Cinerea trees now I have started printing. I love the last two images, have you coiled up the leaves? The silk you were given sounds liek silk noile? it is almost liek a chamois when it comes out of the bath.

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    • Hi Chrissy, I cut shapes out of those leaves! I like silk noil, but this is something different. It is quite shiny, and the weft is quite thick by comparison with noil I have encountered. It is quite a luxury fabric, lustrous and beautiful.

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  5. Kerry douglas

    I had a chuckle when I read your Dads idea about the clamps! My woody hubby suggested that I squash my fabric and leaves in the vice, then tie securely. This has worked well. Love your Eco dyeing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan

    Love those last pictures. I think I am going to ask my friend in California if she can find any of those leaves for me. Saw an interesting book called:
    .amazon.com/The-Hidden-Life-Trees-Communicate/dp/1771642483 It’s up for pre-order. sounds amazing.

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  7. Beautiful results, somebody who I should be acknowledging but can’t remember who it is puts her paper between tiles and then wraps them with elastic bands. She get amazing results.

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  8. that’s the very tree that provided the leaves for the very first time i bundled eucalyptus in silk and squealed all the way to the moon and back. i have frequently spent time crouched in that carpark collecting lovely leaves

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the results of your dyeing – so intriguing, so beautiful. And the E. cinerea is such a beautiful tree too. What colour in those leaves! I have grown eucalyptus trees in the UK before now, but they don’t like wind damage (topple too easily) and I live in a windy windy spot now so will have to admire your handiwork and your trees from a distance. (though I do have some excellent fake Eucaplytus leaves to console me, not cinerea, I think)

    Like

    • Thanks! Many Eucalypts are forest trees that would have a lot of other plants of varying heights around them in their home range. They can’t work everywhere. Happily there are wonderful plants everywhere so far as I can tell!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. don’t you just love serendipity….. my planted E Cinerea only have very round leaves … I look forward to the change in shape ! I have one baby baby E Scorparia fingers crossed…. will try some more seed when the heat abides.

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    • There are E Cinereas in my neighbourhood that have been full sized trees since before I knew their names, and they only have round and heart shaped leaves. And one that has several leaf shapes. I do love serendipity! Glad one E Scoparia has made it. I have begun collecting seed capsules in hopes of gathering more seed. I have one robust seedling too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Rebecca

    Exquisite, truly a life’s work resides in this technique. In fact, a lifetime would not be nearly enough time.

    Like

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