Goose egg drop-pull spree

I wanted to keep using the dyes I made for the Pysanky Toronto retreat. The dyes were not very cooperative at the even, but when they came back home and relaxed a bit, they were dyeing just fine, so it would be a shame to not use them. Still working on the strokes, and starting to work on the variety of patterns. All these patterns are from the Lithuanian book.

Dyes:

  • Top-left, coreopsis extract then sappan wood
  • Top-right dyer’s broom extract, then mulberry, then sappan wood (red)
  • Bottom: coreopsis extract, then sappan wood, then vinegar etched to white, then dyer’s broom to bright yellow and immediately after mulberry.

Pysanky Toronto retreat

The 3-day pysanky retreat in Toronto is now over, it’s been a wonderful experience, amazing people, new friendships, exquisite art, ingenious craft, and the atmosphere full of inspiration, which, I’m sure, will last for a while. If you have an interest in decorating eggs, whether traditional, or contemporary, you have to come next year! (Possibly in June). Whether you are new at this, or you have been doing it for years, you will learn a lot.

Now, this is the only egg I managed to do, I just enjoyed too much seeing what others are doing, chatting, learning…

I was asked to do a presentation on natural dyes, and that in itself was a wonderful experience for me. I felt welcomed and very much encouraged, there is a lot of interest and desire to use natural dyes on eggs. I also made brought a set of 6 dyes, and even though natural dyes require much more time than chemical ones, they are very unpredictable, and some of them did not want to cooperate, several people tried them. By next time I think I will figure out a more cooperating set of dyes, and that will probably make a difference.

Gold – coreopsis extract, brown – combination of dried sappan wood dye and logwood extract dye. Chicken egg.

Coreopsis and sappan wood

More exercises with what can well become my two favorite dyes, and with the drop-pull method. I’m discovering that there is much more potential for different strokes than I initially thought. My grandma only did simple dot and straight line circles, but the actual variety of patterns and stroke combinations is amazing, especially once you hit the google image search. Of course, my hand is still not very steady, needs more practice, but I’m looking forward to it. If someone knows a good book on these Lemkivski eggs, point me to it please!

Dyes:

Yellow – coreopsis extract, a new/different source, seems darker than the first one, I might consider diluting it more, and I ordered seeds, will attempt to grow some in a planter.

Red – still the same sappan wood. This dye is few weeks old now, has developed clumps and stuff, but still smells fine, doesn’t appear to be spoiled, and still gives the color, albeit not as easily or evenly as before.

Big eggs, natural dyes

Here is my first experiment using natural dyes on ostrich and emu eggs. I made one of each, first etched them in vinegar, then used the same two dyes – my favorite coreopsis for yellow (turned out sort of green on emu egg) and madder+cochineal for red (brownish on emu).

Here’s the ostrich:

610_8234Photo courtesy of Mykola Swarnyk

The dots are specific to ostrich egg shells. The shell itself is very smooth, similar to rhea, and the wax tends to peel of sometimes – not sure yet what to do with that, perhaps making sure that the egg itself is on the warm side and the wax is well heated would help.

Here is emu:610_8326Photo courtesy of Mykola Swarnyk

It was etched again after the red dye.

In general, I would say, the experiment was interesting. It takes a lot of dye though, and unless one is doing a good number of big eggs at the same time, the amount of the dyes seems rather wasteful, it’s not clear what to do with them afterward – I put mine in a fridge and used some for the eggs in the previous post, but they did not work quite as well as the fresh ones would be expected to work.

For now I only have one or two emus left, and no other big eggs (have plenty of duck and goose instead), so probably will not be dyeing the big ones any time soon. It would be interesting to use dye on rhea egg – the color of its own shell should give nice tones.

Last eggs of the summer

I had a thick pen and some dyes left over from making big eggs (which I will show you later), so I made a few simple eggs. I love using the thick pen even on small eggs.

The dyes did not cooperate so well, especially the red one, not sure why, they might have not liked going in and out of the fridge. The eggs also did not provide a very even coloring surface. Maybe because I wiped some pencil lines with vinegar? To be further explored.

Yellow is coreopsis as usual and red (or rather orange) is madder with cochineal. Duck eggs.

Coreopsis and madder

Some more experiments with same dyes, except this madder is from roots, not from powdered extract. In the first egg I overdid it with madder (because I have both light and dark red from the same dye), and it ate though the wax and messed with the yellow of coreopsis. Duck eggs.

Red cabbage dye

I was a bit sceptical about the cabbage dye, but so far was pleasantly surprised. Let’s see how the color lasts, and whether it withstands time and light. How to make a cabbage dye? Ask google. I did, and found a bunch of step-by-step instructions. I’ll add one more.

Got some red cabbage. Actually, it’s been sitting in the fridge for months and was quite tired looking. If you get a fresher one, perhaps you’d get a better color.

Chopped the cabbage, put in a metal container, barely filled with water. The more cabbage, the better, only put as much water, as you need for the dye. I put around 300 ml for half a small cabbage.

Boiled the cabbage in water for about 15 min., strained and squeezed as much liquid from the cabbage as I could. Got this sort of purplish color.

Since I’m not a fan of purple, I added some baking soda, to turn the purple into teal. You could keep the purple if you like it, or add acid (vinegar) to change it more towards red. I didn’t do it, I like it blue. Added some alum.

Here is what the white egg looked like after some time in the dye.

On the left – olive green achieved with cabbage dye after coreopsis. With time I realized, the results are better when dyeing repeatedly, that is, put it for a while in the dye, then pull it out, let it dry and rest, and then put back into the dye again. See the first photo – the blue background egg has been in the cabbage dye three times.

The egg on the right was used to write on it and then was etched with vinegar. I made a mistake of washing the wax off with hot water, the dye did not like that and came off in some places. Regular method (though done quite carefully) of taking the wax off with the candle, worked much better with preserving the dye – you can see that in the first photo.

The dye smells like cabbage, which is not particularly pleasant, but other than that does not spoil fast – I’ve had it for a month, most of the time it’s been in the fridge, and it’s still working fine.

UPD. After some time the eggs are not smelling like cabbage any more, which is great.

For more eggs died with this dye, see red cabbage tag.