Monday, January 10, 2011

Dictionary of Dyeing

I received this awesome present from my husband. A first edition print (1862) of 'A Dictionary of Calico Printing and Dyeing' by Charles O'Neill. This out-of-print book he found at the Antiquarian Bookshop, which for me is one of the most amazing places to spend time in in Melbourne.

I love the references to the guilds O'Neill was member to; Fellow of the Chemical Society of London, Member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. I think it was the fashionable thing for the 'free thinkers' of this time to be part of a guild; the early 1900's Arts & Crafts community was abuzz with new research & discovery, disbanding superstition for science.

My favorite part of this book so far is the 4 page description of BLACK,
"In a philosophical point of view black is not a colour. It is the abscence of colour, or the extinction or absorption of all the coloured rays of light, ........ There is no purely black body; such a body would be perfectly invisible, since it would neither emit nor reflect any rays of light by which it could be seen.".... it goes onto describe how to achieve black..... "The famous family of the Gobelines, whose success in dyeing was imputed to supernatural assistance, produced their best blacks by a mixture of the elementary colours - red, blue and yellow."
So the cloth was dipped first with red (pure madder), then blue (pure indigo), then yellow (weld), apparently producing a very perfect, but expensive black.

I'ts got me intruged - invisible cloth! - Although I might not be able to find the ingredients for some of these recipes, eg:
'DEEP HAT BLACK' for Silk without Galls.
2lbs. fustic chips,
1 lb, quecitron back
6 oz verdigriz,
6 oz copperas

Doesn't matter, I'm still finding it fascinating reading; and what a treasure to have, all wrapped in plastic in a protective acid free box.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Darker Work

Hair and Make-up by the lovely Cushla Bower, and photography by Chiappin.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Play and Rest....

Urewera National Park in New Zealand: The turangawaewae of the Tuhoe People, overlooked by the celestial Mist Maiden Hine Pukoku Rangi.

4 days of walking and camping through this amazing part of New Zealand. It was soooo still here that it felt otherworldly at times. I learnt after the walk that " 'The Patupaiarehe' - the fair-skinned fairy people, are believed to be everywhere in the Urewera forests - mystical spirits that shadow intruders who invade their sacred haunts..... and one can hear their feint singing above the sighs and murmurs of the breeze." Paul Rush, Herald on Sunday 26 Dec.
I couldn't help but stop and touch as often as I could; delicate wispy mosses that cascaded off little branches. Oh the inspiration for knitting textiles from this mesmerizing vast place. If I had a needle and thread on me I could have made some little dresses from all the petite foilage found on the forest floor and left them as gifts. I didn't hear any singing but sometimes wondered if we were being watched.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...More Beautiful Books