漏れ日 (Komorebi) (n.)
(n.) sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees
i’ve always loved the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees, so i’ve started a Komorebi eco-print photo album on Facebook. If we’re not friends yet, let’s do be friends.
Meanwhile, i’ll periodically post details on my Komorebi album postings here on my website. i know, i know, it’s about time…
Did i tell you? i like old things…like old, exhausted dye baths. One of the joys of working with exhausted dyebaths is that they are filled with surprises. Yes, you are right, they are, indeed, ugly………. (on the outside).
However, with a little tweaking, they are quite nice on the inside.
Let’s look at Photo 1…a raspberry field of sorts. i’ve printed these particular paper postcards with an assortment of 2+ year old dried leaves. yes, there are euca, oak, and rose leaves + a few with no names. The leaves were stored in waxed cardboard boxes, then re-hydrated in water prior to eco-dyeing. The wool skeins, btw, were given to me by a neighbor, an interior designer and former weaver, who shipped them to Houston from NYC many, many years ago. The skeins had been unloved for quite some time.
So, i washed those unloved skeins in Orvis paste, allowed them to dry, and tested them for brittleness. The wool skeins were still full of life after their washing, although their original white color, that had turned yellow a bit over time, was still yellow.
The dyebath consisted of a 4-5 year old cheesecloth bag of cochineal and water. The bag was to be thrown-out after a natural dye party i had attended. i rescued it. How could i not do so?
Actually, i had forgotten (oh dear) about the cochineal bag i had stored in my studio refrigerator. It was shoved in the back…way, way in the back. Over the years, it got uglier and uglier as i told myself that i really needed to “do something with that ugly old thing”.
So, i did. Into the dyepot it went along with my stack of paper postcards (filled with leaves between the sheets of paper, of course) and the wool skeins. i also threw in a small piece (4″ x 4″) of copper sheeting (ah-ha!) rescued from an old church roof (another one of those nice gifts from a friend). And, wa-la! a luscious field of raspberries appeared…i like raspberries, don’t you?
To answer your question, yes, i did, again, keep that old, yukky, bag of cochineal.
In fact, i threw it back into the same dyebath — oh, did i not tell you that i keep the old dyebaths too? Ooops. Well, i do. They are stored in old (is there a theme here?) glass jars waaaay on the back shelf in my studio refrigerator.
So, the old dyebath liquid, yukky bag of cochineal, along with my stack of paper postcards (filled with leaves between the sheets of paper, of course) were thrown together into the dyepot again. Oh, yes, i did include the small copper sheet too.
The result…Oh, no. Well, there were no raspberry fields this next time around.
However, there were some warm hues of grey, green and pink just in time for Spring. This time, btw, my dried leaves had soaked for a week+ or so (ah-ha!), and they had shared their tannins amongst all their family members and newly acquired friends.
That, my friends, is the magic of old, ugly, exhausted dyebaths.