My last shibori experiment before I take a Thanksgiving break was combining a bunch of “leftovers” into some pretty decent dyes. I took my used cowboy coffee dye (see the previous post) and combined it with English Breakfast tea. I then immersed the pieces and let them gently heat on low for about eight hours (my kitchen smelled great!). I love the taupe-like color that resulted:
In the West, there is a long-standing tradition of “cowboy coffee” making. Any time you are out in wilderness or elsewhere, caught without the comforts of home, you can make cowboy coffee by boiling water and coffee grounds together over a campfire. When you are ready to drink it, you can TRY to strain it with a pan’s lid or some other device, or you can just pour away. The trick is to let the grounds settle to the bottom your cup before drinking and whatever you do, don’t drink the dregs!
I’ve made cowboy coffee more than a few times in my life and apparently, it makes a pretty decent edible dye too! I had some wood ash (the “campfire” part) and tried dyeing with it alone. It was horrible, the pieces came out blotchy and weird.
So then, after talking to Michael Carroll, I resolved to use that ash successfully. I combined the ash with coffee grounds, mortar-and-pestled it into a paste, and voila! A pretty decent black emerged:
Come on over to Kreation in West Hollywood tonight for the opening reception for my shibori work, 8428 W. 3rd St., 6-10 pm!
This location is really feeling like a “full circle moment” for me. My first job after college was three city blocks to the east of Kreation, at CBS Television. I also worked as the visual merchandiser for the flagship Limited store in the Beverly Center, one block to the west of Kreation. I lived about 5 blocks to the north on West Knoll, so this is my old stomping ground. Crazy.
All my pieces are under $100, so I’m hoping to sell quite a few tonight! Here are some examples:
I love beets. My ex hates beets. Therefore, I have rarely had the opportunity to eat them, at home anyway, for quite some time (why do we women do this? Sacrifice stuff WE like just because THEY don’t??? Another story for another blog…).
So, I bought these and had a beet, buffalo mozzarella, and spinach salad. YUM. and of course, I saved the spinach stems for another project. 🙂
I have been madly dyeing, to the exclusion of all else, including housekeeping, cooking, doing dishes, and keeping up with friends (sorry, all!) in preparation for my show THIS FRIDAY, opening reception from 6-10pm! The space is a very cool, hip, and delicious food/beverage place in West Hollywood called Kreation. Most of my pieces are pretty dang cool, if I do say so myself, but I have definitely had some misses as well.
For the black and whites, I tried using charcoal, but ugh–they turned out kind of muddy, gray/white instead of black and white. I then tried crushed walnut shells with DARK indigo, and…voila!
I am really liking the coffee colors that are coming from my used coffee grounds! I do have to leave them in the dye bath for quite awhile, but it’s well worth it. The color variations are largely dependent on fabric type–silk vs. organza vs. bamboo–but I don’t mind that all.
I love the freedom, the spontaneity, and the wabi sabi of shibori dyeing, but sometimes I wish I was a bit more organized. I coffee-dyed this bamboo scarf and I LOVE the itajime impressions that came through. The problem? I have NO IDEA how I did this! I think I know what I used as resists, but I have used the same wood circular blocks in the past and not gotten this kind of result at all. I must have done something different. Oh well, I guess I’ll just “appreciate the fleeting nature of shibori.” Or ‘live in the present moment.” Or “be one with the ephemeral nature of art.” Or something like that.
In preparation for my opening on November 20th, I’m creating a series of “double-processed” pieces (truthfully, there will probably be a good amount of triples and quadruples, we’ll see…).
The first of the processes is pictured below, a “double arashi-ed” piece, first the rust and black arashi. The rust was a surprising color emanating from my leftover coffee grounds collected over two weeks:
I then followed with a gold leaf arashi, using a much thinner thread, to get this effect: