Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two Interesting Things

.... Happened on my walk today.
First off I found the first patch of Cortinarius semisanguineus this year. These are one of the shrooms that dyers always look for. I think they must bloom later in the year,  (if that is what mushrooms do ?), anyhow I was happy to see them.

As we walked back down the trail I spotted one of my handmade hats hanging on a branch ! 
To be honest I had not noticed it was lost, but was very pleased to see it !
Unfortunately I think it must have had a tangle with a forest denizen. 
It will never be quite the same again !!

If hats could talk .....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Adventures With Mushroom Dyeing

A couple of weekends ago the weavers and spinners contingent of the Powell River Fine Arts were lucky enough to have Ann Harmer come up from Pender Harbour and lead us in a 2 day mushroom dyeing workshop.
You can check out Ann's fantastic blog of her own mushroom adventures here.

The first day the group headed out into the forest around Powell River eager to find mushrooms that would give us colour.

After tramping about in the woods lots of mushrooms were found. 
Headed back to the Fine Arts facility Ann's wealth of knowledge correctly identified the shrooms that would hopefully give up some of their colourful pigments.

The next day we prepared the mushrooms for the dye baths.

We had 4 main types of mushrooms that we were going to be working with.

These are Hypomyces Lactifluorum, (Lobster mushrooms)
They need to be peeled and this is the result of the brightly coloured parings.

This next picture is Hydnellum Aurantiacum, a toothed fungus,cut up into small pieces and in the pot !

Next up is Phaeolus schwinitzii, or Dyer's Polypore often found on old fir stumps.
I don't have a pic of the "schnitzel" as I call it but here,  Lois, Lis and Amy, (our guest from Campbell River) are working hard on the preparations.

Last up is the beautiful, (well I think so anyway !) Tapinella atrotomentosa or Velvet pax.
Look at this lovely specimen. 

We also had some other varieties that we experimented with 
but these four were the ones that we worked with and produced samples for the whole group.
We had already premordanted our wool with
 a)alum/cream of tartar
 b) iron
c) copper

Here we are, hard at work, 
(in other words having loads of fun and getting messy).

And here are the end results.
We got some great colours !

Here are my sample sheets that we all made up.

What a great experience and we learned SO much, thank you Ann for a wonderful workshop, Marty for organizing it. Thank you also to Doreen for being the official photographer and sharing these photos with us.
There is the 2013 Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival coming up next weekend,
 if you wanted to learn more about mushrooms I encourage you to check the link.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Skeins and skeins

...... Of geese,    Off they go for their winter break.

And here are our mushroom dyed skeins from Saturday's workshop.
More to come on that.