getting the hang of it

Well I've had a bunch of progress since I last posted. I've decided to go with homemade soymilk as a binder for my paints. It's what the japanese used to fix their pigments onto fabric and it's the easiest to work with so far and will work with more than just paper. I stretched part of an old cotton sheet on a frame to work with and tried it out- seems to work well! You need to let it cure for 2 weeks or more before washing it so I'll see how stable it is then. Here's a little sketch I made and pattern I was playing around with:

As for the pigments so far I have brown (dirt from my backyard), yellow (turmeric), orange-red (onion skin), sort of a red color (purple onion skin), green (nettles), and black (charcoal powder). The plant pigments I extracted like you would a dye- put the plant matter in hot water for a while, strain out the solids..but then evaporate the remaining water and you get solid color.  I'm not so sure how these will hold up to the sunlight. I think that any plant known to be a good dye for fabric will work just as well because that's essentially what I'm doing.

Eventually I'd like to  get some indigo, make some rice paste for a resist and try my hand at indigo dyeing. Since it's a fermentation process it's a bit more complicated but it should be fun!


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