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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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!


    • 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…


  2. Liz

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


    • 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.


  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.


    • 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.


  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.


  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.


  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)


    • 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.


    • 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.


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