Thanks to Jennifer, I have been playing with dyeing 300# watercolor paper in a slow cooker using flowers and leaves and fruit & veggie peels. It’s been FUN! Very liberating. I never know what I’m going to get when I unwrap the package! Truly Christmas in July.
I started by borrowing neighbor Jude’s slow cooker. The first batch, I tried paper and fabric. The fabric didn’t take up the color of the flowers very well – it just discolored the fabric a little.
I’ve tried 3 different cooking options – each with different results.
1. First batch: I put a bowl in the bottom of the pot, filled with water to the edge of the bowl and then set my packages on top of the bowl so they steamed. This probably gave me the results that I like best.
2. Second batch: I cooked my packages dry. This was only fabric patches and they actually singed/burned. Totally unsatisfactory results.
3. Third batch: Following Jennifer’s hints, I covered the packages in water. This resulted in mixed results. The leaves/greens and apricot roses didn’t transfer at all. The blue flowers and onion skins did.
Some of the batches I included rusted items – others I didn’t.
One batch – the first one that I submerged – got very dark but I think that was because the brick I used to weight everything down was really dirty.
It’s been fun – that’s for sure! I think I’ll do it again with the watercolor paper next weekend. I’ve stopped at the local flower shop and she does a throw out of her ‘tired’ blossoms on Saturday about noon. She said to come in then and she’d do me a deal so I plan to put on my ‘mad scientist hat’ again this weekend.
Next, I set them out on the picnic table and tried to do a little more rusting on them – and then I might do a little painting on them before I call them done.
What am I going to do with them? Make an artist’s journal. I have a plan brewing! I have a couple pieces of rusted fabric that would make a great cover….especially if I add some stitch work. I’m not quite sure what kind of binding I’m going to do – but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
YEAH! This has been a fun experiment….a real kick in the backside.
Here’s a slideshow: