Sunday, 12 October 2014

Obligatory Dye Trip Post

Maiwa is celebrating the tenth year of their annual fall textile symposium. And I've wanted to go all ten years, but either couldn't afford it or was otherwise busy or lived in the crapartment. This year I determined that I would go, especially since all my dye stuff came out of storage purgatory when we got out of the crapartment. Fortunately Michel Garcia was coming to teach a few classes, one of which I enrolled in (should have done the indigo one too but thought it might be too expensive and hard to get into both of them) after a stressful few moments when registration opened (it's infamously hard to get into some of the really popular classes--it's the same kind of mental anguish basically invented by ticketmaster when your fave band is coming to town. You know the kind that involves saying things like NO I WANT THE GOOD TICKETS. yeah it's loadin...NOOO. WHY ARE YOUR SERVERS DOWN WHY YOU NOT PLAN FOR THIS. You and I both know you've been there).

Anyway I also managed to force a few theo peeps to come to visit, which was cool and we decided to meet the weekend before the class.

Spirit of the Haida Gwai, Bill Reid's famous statue which I directed Liz to by telling her to find the giant boat.

Theo peeps! Well, Rachel and mem. Elizabeth married in to theo peepdom. This was in the vancouver public library, which is shaped like a spiral and has a bunch of shops and government things around it. It is also in sight of the former performing arts building which now houses a mennonite brethren megachurch, about which we surmised what level of heresy was taught there several times throughout the week. Yeah we ended up in the library a few times.

Sunday we went to Granville Island, mostly so we could go to the market and I could buy ART SUPPLIES. While it rained on Monday, the weather was pretty nice for the rest of the trip, which was nice.
the bridge that makes it a not-island and yachts of Richies.

mem being all pensive about the quality of the fish.

 Anyway once that was done, we went for supper to a place Carly told me is where people take their mistresses and people they want to impress and I found out that sea bass is DELICIOUS (thanks to Elizabeth). After that I finally got to take my classes.

Chemistry stuff, which went over a lot of people's heads. Though I felt like it was pretty basic and I hated chemistry so much (would have hated it less if we could have done cool things NOT FOOF MEM so don't even say it). 

Someone actually told me "you must have a background in chemistry or science because you know a lot of this". The internal laughter that followed. I guess being a nurse helps even if I'm basically the worst at it ever cause we had to learn SOME chemistry for both physiology and pharmacology.

all the samples together in mah book

Our samples
We got to do some interesting experiments, though most of the classes focused on cotton which I never use because the alum-tannin-alum premordanting methods are like all hard work and stuff for really sucky colour anyway. But most of these samples gave okay colours, though not quite like the wool. And now you know why Joseph's coat was many colours. Wool takes dye so much better than anything else. Well except indigo.

Michel Garcia all "lookit getting red with madder so essy" Or something like that. He told us why mine failed and precipitated about two seconds after this. :(  Definitely no real concerns about the "rules" for madder, he's pulling it out of a boiling pot there. He wasn't a big fan of doing things the "official way" and mentioned the antichrists' alum mines, which I totally remembered as soon as he mentioned it. Church history has a practical application people!

Anway we also learned mordant print making and got some really nice golds with titanium as a mordant. I  have all the other mineral mordants (shhh) so I'm trying to find some of that, especially given that it produces golds with a lower health threat than chrome. The only place I found it charged 300 dollars for it. major sad. Here are some of the other cool samples and things:

A piece painted with four mordants and put in cochineal and a second that was screen printed with different mordants and also dyed in cochineal. 

These were poundings done to see if a plant has any tannin in it and will be worth harvesting. And safflower PINK. The yellow was tres laid. Was so excited to see the pink.

Of course we also made samples to take home. A lot of people were worried about how they would look but I was more concerned with the process because they are just samples anyway. Plus I'm really a craftsperson so the process and technique are why I do these things in the first place. So I used a few screens that already had designs on them and went all random with them.

 Appparently there is iron or something in the water as they were supposed to wash out cleaner from the backgrounds. This one is my fave though: Weld. The gold is titanium, neon yellow alum and black is Iron.

We also made printed "charts" with the different mordants so you can see the range of colours one dye can produce, and mordant discharge. And safflower! Did I mention how cool it was? Okay.

We tried most of the dyes in the supply cupboard and some people brought plants that we dyed on too.  Overall I learned somethings that I'll definitely be able to use, especially if I can find some cheap titanium.

I also took Vancouver public transit to and from classes, which mama noted was the true highlight of the trip for me because I wouldn't stop talking about it for two days. It was so great though, with quiet electric vehicles, a train station that was still a skytrain station and not a casino, and each vehicle even had a pleasant computerized voice to tell you where you were going. I took this picture of an extra long hinged bus turning a corner for mama cause I knew it would make her rageful:

But man that was great public transit. Good job city of Vancouver.


Holly said...

Awesomeness. Wish I could have gone.

Char said...

Me too! Definitely some "art" we would have made fun of.

Anonymous said...

Also, FOOF.

Word thingy is Furgest ago, which sounds like the last time a beaver came to visit.

Anonymous said...

Also that was me, mem. Just leaving comments like an anonymizer.

New word thingy is impossible to read, so I'm going to mess it up now.

Char said...

Blogger thought you were a spammer mem this says a lot about the deep and meaningful content of your comments