From July 6th:
The days pass in a colorful blur of verdant green, summer flowers, and blue sky.
When I close my eyes, the sun dots them with phosphene blooms.
This morning, thunder rumbles from across the bay; a storm forming as it moves over the water. The air changes and the rain comes. Summer’s version of the ocean effect.
Coreopsis seeds that were planted in spring are now a riot of blooms on tall, feathery stems. Cheery yellow flowers all smiling, their deep red-orange centers dusted with pollen. I try to harvest them daily; it doesn’t always happen and luckily, they don’t seem to mind. Even the wilted ones will do just fine in the dye pot.
Cotton muslin scraps were dyed in small batches to achieve different values of orange.
First, a few scraps were dyed in the original dye bath, steeping for about an hour. I removed them both, added a pinch of soda ash and chalk to the dye bath, then added them back for about 10 minutes. This yielded a saturated yet muted shade of orange.
I then added more scraps of fabric. They immediately turned orange/pink, due to the highly alkaline dye bath. Trying to conserve color for another round of dyeing, I left these scraps in the dye bath for about 20 minutes, yielding a sunny shade of creamsicle orange. After removing this batch, I dyed another round of scraps to get a soft shade of apricot.
To yield shades of creamsicle orange from Dyer’s coreopsis:
-add flowers to a pot and fill with hot water
-cover with a lid, bring to a simmer, and steep for at least an hour
-strain flowers and add prepared (scoured + mordanted) fibers to pot
-heat on low for about an hour, stirring fibers often
-turn off heat and steep fibers until desired results are achieved
-a pinch of soda ash (washing soda) or calcium carbonate (chalk) can be added to the hot dye bath to brighten colors