ECO DYE BANNERS
BEGINNING 3-D ART
various pieces of cotton, linens & silks, windfall, spices, fruits & vegetables
with lots of string, hot plates & large pots for steaming
I love teaching this assignment and dedicate it every year to mentors
who continue to inspire me on a daily basis.
We start by talking about where all natural dye stuffs come from
and the kids go home and the search is on.
They bring back so much good stuff to use and have fun showing it off and sharing
somethings complete with ants and spiders.
Some of the student bundles after emerging from the dye pots.
Notice how the color is seeping into the paper?
I save a lot of tidbits from garage and estate sales,
many pieces of laces, doilies, linens and such,
and cut them up into smaller pieces for the kids to choose from
(at least 20 varieties this year).
I also purchase silk off the bolt from Dharma Trading Company
and rip banner size pieces for the students main foundation.
They can make as many as 3 bundles,
and this year had 4 pots of dyestuff to choose from to steam their bundles in.
I was able to find windfall from Ornamental Plum,
Eucalyptus, and Walnuts,
plus I made a cheater pot of Rit Turquoise this year.
When the Rit mixes with the windfall it tones and softens the color to make it look like a natural dye.
I also made a pot of clear water to steam in
which turned out many beautiful results
because of the rich source of dyestuffs the kids brought in.
These pieces are from two bundles that I demoed with.
Loved how the doll bloomers turned out.
Included in each child's bundles are at least 2-4 butterflies of pearle cottons
that pick up the color as well.
They use these to sew with on their banners.
After all the bundles are opened,
I have the kids gather round a table.
They have to donate at least 2 of their pieces they don't care for or think they will not use.
Then we go round and round and pick something they might be able to incorporate into their designs.
I believe we made it around the table 3 times this year with 29 kids and 2 adults.
we also have English teacher Donna Hall and Coach Milan taking the class as well.
In the photo above Donna is the tall blond on the left,
and Coach Milan is middle right with hat on backwards standing next to our Assistant Principal,
who heard about the process and wanted to watch the excitement.
So let's see how these banners turned out this year.
There were so many outstanding ones that I've had to do this post into 2 parts.
I wanted to start with Ms. Hall's banner because the kids and I loved it so much.
The reason I want the kid to use at least 2 dye pots
is so that they have two contrasting colors to work with.
I believe Donna used the walnut and turquoise pots.
They are required to stack fabrics 3 layers deep in at least one area,
and to use at least 5 of their 12 embroidery stitches they learned to tack them down with.
Also required were to incorporate at least one of their polymer beads you saw in an earlier post,
and to figure out a clever way to hang their banner from a twig they have found.
Ms. Hall also found an additional embellishment (required) in the carved wooden button,
plus she sewed down lots of twinkly seed beads as well to catch the eye.
Most of the feathers you will see came from around my cabin this summer.
This next beauty was made by junior Lynette
whom I'm finding is an incredible designer and craftswoman.
Check out these close-ups of her work.
My favorite part is the woven fabrics ala Jude Hill with the eco-dyed thread X's over top.
The yellows in this extraordinary piece were made from the spice Turmeric.
And here is a close-up so you can see senior Sarah Woo's handwork.
I'm hoping you are also noticing that each piece has threads
that are being couched down in random patterns,
These are probably too earthy to be called adorable,
but this one by senior Alexis is pretty darn close.
The clever girl turned hers into a landscape.
Do you see it?
The clouds & flowers.
And if you look really close you will also see the clever use of safety pins to hold bead embellishment on top of pieces of eyelet.
You can really see the gorgeous turquoise that senior Crystal was able to achieve
in one of her bundles.
I believe her second bundle went into eucalyptus.
Two incredible close-ups of her impeccable craftsmanship in her embroidery stitches,
and look how perfectly she couched down her thread.
This next increible piece was created by 8th grader Leanne.
Every year for the last three I've been blessed with amazing 8th graders.
She is another who showed really well balanced design and craftsmanship.
And I love the dimensional effect she created with the overlapping of doilies
and then sewing on a dried flower in it's center.