I spent the afternoon yesterday at my friend Gail Callahan's dye studio. Gail wrote "THE BOOK" Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece. The studio is in the basement of her 100 year old home - what a perfect place for a dye studio. When you walk down the stairs, you are greeted by a glittery sconce. And see the stairs - they are painted pink and orange!
The dye studio is so well stocked and organized to create colorful work on all kinds of textiles - both yarn and fabrics. I needed to dye some felted sweaters and other odds and ends for projects I am working on and she graciously helped me out. These are Gail's dyes mixed into liquid form.
We played with the colors. So fun. Do you see how the 3 shades of "pink" are different shades? The dye crystals migrate differently which you can see on the paper towel.
Because the studio is in the basement, Gail has added little touches to dress up the walls. It feels like many artist studios I have worked in old buildings, college buildings, and re-purposed factories.
My goal was to transform these really boring colored swatches and felted sweaters into something more colorful. These are the swatches soaking in an acid bath before dyeing.
Here's what the swatches look like now..... Much better for what I was planning.
After the dyeing, Gail brought out a blank silk scarf and introduced me to these coloring agents - Derwent Inktense pencils which turn to dye once wet. And Dy-na-flo Fabric Inks which I had never used. I painted this wacky little piece which looks like it belongs in the Summer of Love exhibit at Smith College I am still trying to get to.
Here's Gail with my stack of dyed woolies. If you get a chance to take a class with Gail - DO! She has the nicest encouraging manner and is a real colorist.
If you can't get to a class with Gail, buy "THE BOOK" Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece - Check out Gail's website to see all her beautiful yarns and to learn about her color tool - The Color Grid. Here's a short video showing Gail demonstrating the Colorgrid.