Crafty Times: Natural Dyeing & Spinning

Crafty Times: Natural Dyeing & Spinning

September 5, 2011 0 comments DIY, Handmade

Dyeing with indigo!

The coolest part about indigo is that the colour changes once the item being dyed is exposed to air (and oxidizes). It starts as a bright green, and then changes to the deep blue indigo shade. It’s like magic. You can’t really see it in these photos unfortunately, I caught it after it had changed.

In other dye projects, I’ve been experimenting with natural dyeing by using jam jars (thanks penny!!) They work if they’re placed in the sun, but my stovetop gets pretty hot so I dyed over the stove. This solution is made up with berries that had gone off. I set out the blackberries and cherries and extracted the juices – and dyed some wool with it.

This wool was over-dyed. It used to be yellow – from a batch of onion skins – but is now this berry colour!

I also finished up a spinning project that I’ve been working on. Made my first hand-spun sweater! It was lots of fun, but it weighs a ton. Turns out I have to start spinning so that it traps more air – and less fiber, making it more “lofty.”


Crafty Workshops: Basketry and Mighty Ugly

September 3, 2011 0 comments DIY, Out And About

I recently took part in 2 awesome workshops led by 2 lovely individuals. The first was a basketry workshop with Sharon Kalis, who works with the Park Board to collect invasive species – that she then turned in to public art that’s displayed around the city. To make these installations, she invited those interested to learn – to take part in a free workshop. She did a series of these workshops, and I was involved with making basket orbs that will go up near Science World. It was great fun!

Sharon showing us how it’s done:

The second workshop was Mighty Ugly led by Kim Werker at Vancouver Hack Space. She encouraged us to make something really ugly.

This one’s mine. He is having a bad hair day and is going on camera in around 15 minutes!

Internet Troll:

Kim also has a workshop coming up at Plush on Main on October 8th if you want to check it out.

Hands on in “The Studio” at Siggraph

September 2, 2011 0 comments DIY, Out And About

This year, VHS was invited to take part in Siggraph’s Studio – which was a pretty cool experience. Armed with lots of kits, a crew of VHSers  taught many to solder (incl. Cory Doctorow!) and I took a stab at teaching people how to needle felt. It was great fun, and really cool to hear that many 3D artists enjoyed the needle felting – and planned on using it to model characters before working on the computer.

Needle felted octopus I made to demo how to needle felt:

Soft circuitry:

Other exhibits:

Not part of Siggraph – but a cool photo at the convention centre:

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