Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dying to Dye- Part 2

Here are the results from the fiber dyeing class I took this past weekend. I promised I was going to post part 2 yesterday but ended up leaving town after work to be with a relative who was feeling under the weather.

It's a good thing I was able to take pictures yesterday morning because we're back to our pattern of rain all day and night.

We tried a bunch of different techniques -

2 tries at hand painting

Crock pot

Low immersion

This one was fun- I dipped sections of fiber into two different colors and let it all mix around in a zip lock bag. It looks green but there are really different shades of greens, yellows and blues showing off.

And what turned out to be one of my favorites- solar dying. I honestly thought I wouldn't really like solar dying, I didn't have anything to base that assumption on but for some reason I thought I wouldn't really be into but I actually loved it the technique and loved the results.

Be sure to check out part 1 of the dyeing class 0f you missed it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dying to Dye- Part One

Sunday I took a class in Dyeing fibers at webs. I know, I know I've been a maniac about the classes this summer- it wasn't that long ago that I was really nervous about taking my first class and now it's like I can't stop taking them.

I was really exited for this- it's something I've wanted to try for a while; and was actually with the same teacher who taught the spinning class. It was geared toward dying fibers instead of yarn- which as Barbara explained- since you choose how the colors combine into a yarn as you spin, really gives you more options than if you were to dye yarn. I never thought about this but it makes a lot of sense; and I've always had the idea that if I were to start spinning I'd want to dye my own yarn too. I love color it's what draws me to a yarn first, second it the texture- the idea of controlling these two things myself has always been appealing. The idea of having even more control over the colors at the fiber stage sounds even better!

We tried a lot of techniques during the class- I'll do a more detailed post about all the fiber tomorrow. I set it all out to dry yesterday while I was at work. Today I planned to photograph it all- but it's been raining literally all day (thundering right now in fact) and there was no way to get any decent pictures.

Glassblowing in Newport

This weekend my mom, sister and I went to Newport for my Mom's birthday. We saw the mansions

This is the breakers the largest of all the Newport mansions.

took in the gorgeous ocean views on the cliff walk

and did a little shopping. While walking along Thames street (which has a lot of nice little shops and places to eat) we found this amazing glassblowing studio that lets you take a lesson.

I've always, always wanted to try glassblowing. While I was in college it was offered but at only one time slot during spring semester. Each year I would put it on my schedule only to be forced to drop it because it conflicted with a class I had to take for my major. Almost 8 years later and I finally, finally got to try my hand at working with glass!

I was so excited when I signed up and wasn't disappointed- in less than an hour the instructor was putting my paperweight into the annealer (oven used to cool glass slowly so it doesn't crack).

The lesson is really designed so that the instructor does all of the hard parts and you end up with a gratifyingly presentable piece- but it was enough to give me a taste of what glass work is like and I enjoyed every second of it.

Above the instructor is cooling off the rod that the glass is gathered on.

Here I am torching the bottom of the glass to make a smooth flat surface for the paperweight to sit on.

I'm getting both the paperweight I made and the blown glass ornament my sister made shipped to me (combining the shipping was cheaper) and I can't wait to see how they turned out. The instructor said the colors would end up looking pretty true to how they looked in the trays.

We each picked three colors, but I really have no idea what either piece will look like since they were red hot when they were finished and put inside the annealer. I'll be sure to post pictures when they get here!

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