Sunday, August 27, 2006

bad dye job

Not my hair, although that needs refreshing, too. But that is another conversation. Today, batik in the downstairs studio to see whether I could improve on this BLAH piece of fabric. (well, what do you expect with dye stock that has been sitting around for eons?) I heated the wax and got to work with a wood stamp I had used only once before I went waltzing off to various parts of the country to teach. Along the way, I purchased the second stamp from a student in my class in Lowell. I coveted it and she decided that I needed it more than she did. Thank you, Corinne! I love it. Working with wood stamps can be labor intensive because they don't hold the heat as well as copper tjaps. They're good for one stamping and then you have to put them back in the wax for another good impression. Nonetheless, I stamped away with a few Afghan wood blocks and a kitchen implement and then painted my favorite indigo dye onto the cloth. It was a small piece, so it dried quickly. A definite improvement, wouldn't you say? Here is another piece of the same piece of cloth, painted with more than one color in the same layer.

I am taking a pile of blah fabric to Denver with me to see whether I can improve them when I use them for class demos. There is always hope.

In the meantime, I need to stitch on my piece some more tonight. It has rained all day and tonight, the windows are open, the air smells sweet, and I can hear the crickets: always a sound that I find comforting. Reminds me of sitting on the screened porch on a summer night when I was a teenager.

This reminds me of the hilarious article I read this week in the NY Times. It was about foods that remind you of your childhood and how almost everybody has a trigger food that brings back happy memories. But if you try to make somebody else's special memory food for yourself, it has no meaning, is not at all to your taste, and leaves you wondering what on earth they liked about it.

But when it comes to our own special memory foods, we usually spend our adult lives trying (mostly in vain) to recapture the taste. But it's not just the taste: it is the experience, emotions, and events connected with it. Proust had his madeleine...I spend my life trying to find the texture and sourdough taste of the Russian rye bread that every good Jewish bakery in Newark, NJ baked until the early '60s. Gone forever. What is yours?


martha in ny said...

What happened to TEd?
Love the batiks. I really need to use the supplies I bought for that class I took. May have some chance of doing that since I am finishing up some deadline stuff. woo hoo!!

Joanne S said...

My"taste" would be something my grandmother cooked. That would bring back memories of being loved by her.

I purchased a small package of soy wax at World Quilts and look forward to doing some stamping of my own soon. Hope it comes out 10% as good as yours. :)

Judy said...

Yellow squash prepared like my Mom used to do it...and I've figured it out in my advanced age!! And then there's the wonderful cooked custard that my Grammy used to make for us...that recipe is gone forever, but not forgotten.
Not long till you're here in the sunny South, Rayna! WooHoo!!!

Love your rescued pieces...of course I would have been satisfied with them in the first go 'round.

Rayna said...

Hi Mamahen! I want that yellow squash recipe when I see you!

Robin said...

My grandmother's "russian" tea. It was very warm and refreshing. I'm sure it was just tang and liptons, but when I make it, it doesn't taste quite the same.

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