Sunday, 23 February 2014

Natural dyes and paints

Yesterday I went to Firstsite, Colchester and worked with natural paints. First I needed inspiration so I headed to the roman mosaic to look at the patterns. I created a design of my own that represented water and lightning. 

Then I transferred the pattern onto special foam using a cotton wool bud with no cotton wool on. I choose a blue dye which looked like the night sky.

 I printed it onto different colours of paper.
The artist, Nabil Ali, told me that the dyes were created using natural materials. He used stinging nettles, madder, and egg shells.

When I got home I made my own dye. I picked some beetroot from the garden then cleaned and chopped it into little pieces. Next I cooked it and then waited for it to cool. 

It was quite runny and the image didn't really work well.  I tried it on different paper and that worked better. I was surprised that it was red and not purple as I expected.

Next time I might try a sharp pencil for the lines and normal lino painting ink as it seems stickier. 

Another great day at Firstsite.

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