Thursday, July 21, 2011

Solar Dyeing Silk

It's one of those days, as it has been for the past month, that the blazing hot sun heats to concrete making shoes necessary just to check the mail since it will blister your soles. With 104 degree temperatures every day, I have to do all I can to keep the house at a cool 78 degrees. I have all the windows drawn with blinds and curtains. Lights off, and no extra cooking. It's sad when a cold shower sounds refreshing.

So with all this heat, I decided to dye up some silk caps I just got in the mail. What more can I ask for? Silk. . check. Dye. . . check. Heat source. . . quadruple check. I know a lot of artists get the big pots out with thermometers to check the right temperature. As an Artist, however, I'm not inclined to do things too scientifically. Yes, I have a degree based in science. You wouldn't believe how many chemical structures come to mind when I think of alcohol alone. I always loved to figure out how things work.

However, I am a emotional being. I am creative. I refuse to let my job become just that. I don't want to "burn out" as many do. I am a Fiber Artist by choice. I wish I could say I make a ton of money and travel the nation in luxury. Truthfully, my earnings go right back into the business. I buy supplies, pay for advertising, rent booths, pay taxes; all things you must do to run a business. It's not always fun, but it's mine.

That being said, I went around gathering supplies; food jars, silk, dyes, etc. . . As I filled my first jar with dye and water, a funny sound sputtered from the sink. Oh no! There's wasn't any water. After checking the news, I found that a water main had ruptured. Boo, I had jars with dye laid out to fill. So, I took a break and hop onto the computer to wait it out. Lo and behold, Ester of Jazzy Turtle Creations is working on the same thing! You can check out her blog at on solar dyeing. It was nice to see that I'm not the only one with this idea today, in the blazes of summer. It's as though, through all this, there was some camaraderie between the Fiber Artists.

Eventually, the water returned; the jars filled and laid out. So there they sit, cooking in the sun. I went out to take some pictures and burned my knees kneeling on the ground. Split seconds have given my 2nd degree burns. Yowzers! That's hot! I took a couple of good shots before having to return to my air conditioned haven.

So enjoy the process, have a smile on me. It's the simple beauty of solar dyeing that keeps me chugging on.