Wednesday, 3 March 2010

...more dye play...

...and a bit of stitching too.

I got out the dyes again, and painted some threads to use in the Moroccan/henna pieces.

About 8 different threads were wound into a skein - cottons, silks...

..then dye painted on in sections.

Browns; yellows; greens...

..resulting in this...





These were then used on a couple of backgrounds that had been done a few days ago...







..and included some of the embellishments showed in the last post...

While the dye stuffs were out, I did a few more pieces of fabric....

...and bleached them in places afterwards....





I think these will require only a small amount of stitching/embellishment...


This theme is beginning to take hold. I've ordered two lots of henna powder - red and black - to use on future pieces. I feel that I want to use the materials that WOULD have been used, wherever possible.

I've also been reading a lot about Moroccan henna cloths...it's a fascinating subject...about a lost art. The last "real" ones were made back in the 1950s in a small area of the Anti Atlas. Most of the meaning behind the symbolism is forgotten, but, luckily, research was carried out and some information is still available to us.

Apparently, many of the symbols used were "talismanic" or "amuletic"...and consisted of versions of the ancient Berber (Amazigh) script, Tifinagh.

This is particularly interesting to me, and I'll be looking into this a lot more....

I was really pleased to discover that a number of henna veils are held in the collection of the "Musee de Quai Branly" Paris. I'll be at Chartres again later in the year, so can visit and have a close-up look at them! It's less than an hour on the train from there.

Meanwhile, I'm back to my book for a while before bedtime....

10 comments:

hudsondebb said...

Your Moroccan inspiration is fueling beautiful work- these original embellishments, and your hand-dye-painted yarns and fabrics, are gorgeous.

jude said...

there is really something wonderful going on here....

Eva said...

I love most the second piece, it reminds me of Siberian native art. The subdued browns make these things look like something excavated, rare and immensely precious.

ArtPropelled said...

Yum! As Jude commented .... something wonderful going on here! Looooove what you're doing.

Chris Gray said...

Thanks ladies!.....I'm being carried along by "something", not quite sure exactly what it is...but it's put fire in my soul...

JP said...

wow your moroccan inspirations are getting better and better

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

You make it sound fascinating Chris. Lovely dyed pieces and I'm really enjoying following your progress with the henna pieces x

nandas said...

i came here from jude's site... i can't believe my luck. i am going to morocco in june and want to take some hand quilting with me. i have my designs worked out and it will be on hand dyed fabric. i had never considered dyeing with henna... a remarkable idea! but this lost art of henna dying in morocco is one i am grateful to know about. i will do some research on my own and ask about it on our trip. it will be led by susan davis who is an expert on textiles. i love what you are doing..it speaks of the sahara and an ancient heritage. thank you so much for sharing all the information on your blog...
nancy

nandas said...

i came here from jude's site... i can't believe my luck. i am going to morocco in june and want to take some hand quilting with me. i have my designs worked out and it will be on hand dyed fabric. i had never considered dyeing with henna... a remarkable idea! but this lost art of henna dying in morocco is one i am grateful to know about. i will do some research on my own and ask about it on our trip. it will be led by susan davis who is an expert on textiles. i love what you are doing..it speaks of the sahara and an ancient heritage. thank you so much for sharing all the information on your blog...
nancy

Chris Gray said...

Glad that you've called around Nancy!....and I hope you enjoy your Moroccan trip as much as I did.

Yes, the henna dyeing tradition is now lost (if you don't count recent fakes being marketed as "old")...but it is such a fascinating subject. It's really caught my attention/imagination, and I feel that I want to run with it...just to see where it leads.

Let me know if you find out anything more on your trip.

Chris