Eco-print with Eucalyptus, Chamomile, and Avocados
I have enjoyed eco-printing with natural dye-stuff this winter. After several years of experimentation, I look forward to sharing some combinations that I enjoy. I have been getting good prints using eucalyptus on silk. One interesting thing about eucalyptus is there are around 600-700 species of the tree. There are at least 3 varieties that I find in the Miracle Mile neighborhood here in L.A. which are: Silver princess (pictured below), Silver Dollar, and Lemon Eucalyptus. I enjoy using all 3 for printmaking. If you order a botanical bundle- you will receive one of these varieties, along with chamomile flowers. They can be additionally sourced at the floral section of many markets.
You can botanically dye a range of natural fibers such as silk, cotton and chiffon. For this project, I used a silk square, eucalyptus, gingko leaves, and chamomile flowers. Next, I steamed and partially submerged the piece in an avocado dye bath binding the piece using Arashi Shibori techniques.
The ends reveal those deeper rose pinks from the avocado submersion. The pops of yellow are the ground chamomile flowers and the clear prints are the Eucalyptus. Near the edges- I got some clear gingko leaves which were basically halos of the gingko leaves where the dye discharged near the submersion of the edges.
The lines are due the way that I like to print & bind my fibers using a mirror image and thin twine in Arashi Shibori fashion. I would say there are other ways to bind fiber onto a dowel or stick this is just one method of bundling.
At the moment, I am putting together a kit of the chamomile flowers and the eucalyptus. I am planning a LIVE event on January 10th for dyers who love dyeing with foraged botanical. Would you like to get together and see what range we can come up with? I love seeing all the hues that come from avocado and eucalyptus! All dyers will use their own foraged materials. Kits can be added-on and are almost ready, be sure to contact me to receive one in the mail. Dye kit includes a silk square, eucalyptus leaves, iron, chamomile flowers and twine.
Our foraged dye event registration is now open. Comment below with any questions that you have about dyeing with avocado. Please join us this Sunday, January 17th!
Natural Dyeing silk masks with Cutch for Vince
A few weeks back, we shared dyeing basics and nuanced techniques with our community on how to naturally dye silk masks at home. This was one of my favorite collaborations with Vince, an iconic California luxury lifestyle brand. I am always inspired by the textiles, silhouettes and materials that Vince offers. One thing that I love about the brand is many of their pieces feature natural fibers, such as cashmere, cotton, linen and silk, all of which are ideal for Natural Dyeing. For this workshop, we hand-dyed masks using Cutch, an historic natural dye-stuff found in the heart center of the acacia tree. Not only does Cutch yield a beautiful range of colors but it smells quite earthy and nice when it's simmering.
Our Natural Dye kits included.
You can learn more about the process here:
The first thing to do is always prepare your fibers. In this case, we use a mordant: Alum because Cutch is high in tannin, and does not require an additional tannin (for cellulose only). For clarification, although our masks were silk, some dyers also up-cycled clothing items such as cotton tees.
A mordant is a mineral salt that is used to allow the dye to more readily color the fibers. With this dye the use of an alum mordant is known to shift the color toward golden- so some may skip this step to achieve red-browns instead. Cutch also appears more red brown due to the silk!
Part of the beauty & magic of natural dye is the range of colors and the other is the part that the color truly is plant color derived from nature that is colorfast and lightfast! Anthony G, the Palisades store manager and I, had so much fun tie-dyeing out on the veranda.
If you would like to learn more about Natural Dyes, receive free tutorials and invites to workshops then be sure to join our community of textile designers, dyers and artists!
If you feel ready to take a deeper dive in to Natural Dyes & would love to start up cycling all of your linens and belongings- then take a look at my self-paced e-course Intro to Natural Dyes: Primary and take the plunge into Natural Dyes this January!
Last but not least, we still have a handful of similar Natural Dye Design kits available so you can snag one here while supplies last!
Musings from behind the scenes of the studio
Can you please share with us your mission for your design studio?
Hilary L Hahn a teaching studio which has been offering workshops, private lessons, and events for a number of years. A working artist, Hilary is a painter, designer, & educator.
Our mission is to support the work of creatives of all ages. Our goal is to serve and inspire a broad community of talented artists, who wish to further skills through the explore various art forms from painting, fiber arts, to sculpture. Her signature watercolor and surface design workshops are a must do! We aim to explore design in it's many forms from young artist and adults that want to reconnect to creativity daily.
In your studio, you create modern textile designs inspired by natural dye processes, indigo and interiors. Your work combines natural elements & water as a vehicle for that dye. Is there a correlation between your love of natural dye and your watercolor painting practice?
Yes, I enjoy the fluidity of shapes and I am inspired by organic patterns. I love to paint Shibori patterns as much as I love to dye with them.
What are some of your favorites materials or tools to work with when you are in the studio?
Arches watercolor paper, indigo, natural dyes, wood, watercolor and linen.
Indigo Garden Social
You have studied techniques in Japan and India. Could you talk about the particular techniques and practices you traveled to sturdy?
Absolutely, I am inspired by my trips to India and Japan. From visiting with local artisans, museums, textile centers, and factories. I have enjoyed visiting with and hosting visitors from abroad and hope to do more. Taking a dye or design workshop,
How have you been able to maintain a regular art practice over the past year? What advice would you give to creatives that could use an inspirational boost?
My advice would be to work on something creative every-day. It could be something as simple as a watercolor, a study, a sketch, or adding embroidery. Take time to do something creatively fulfilling, and if what you find creatively fulfilling is your work, then be grateful for your job.
One of the beautiful things about textiles dyed with natural techniques is that organic look and embracing wabi-sabi from the results. Could you talk about the importance appreciating the "surprises" that come out of the vat?
I have found that my customers completely appreciate those little nuances within the work. Oftentimes it's easy to strive for perfection or to achieve a certain effect when you are dyeing. In many cases, those unexpected bursts of color or spontaneous patterns formed by the way a piece has been tied, are what makes the piece extraordinary and better than imagined.
We have a few exciting events to round out the year. A few lucky participants will be dyeing in a small group LIVE in my garden in our: Indigo garden social. Meet up virtually for our watercolor for Relaxation painting workshop, where we will be exploring motifs on a set of watercolor cards.
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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