Thursday, April 5, 2012
Bloody Sorrel and Flowering Woad
Growing and HarvestingI have entered Phase 3 of my series on making natural paints (Prior posts: Dyers Garden and Motivation to Make Paint and Making Natural Dye Workshop): growing and harvesting my own materials. The unnatural warm weather in Ohio has been beneficial for this. These images were taken ~April 2nd! We'll see if they survive a possible hot summer.
My daughter demonstrates the red inking of her hand by plucking a leaf and scrawling with the stem:
My second year's growth of woad is doing well. I had no idea how nice they smelled (being olfactory challenged, I was glad to register the scents of these blooms). Despite Woad's reputation for being evil and invasive, I was still surprised it grew okay in our hostile clay soil. My aim for these are to make both pigments and dyes; for the dye process, I'll need to either gather some urine (medieval processing required this)... or collect and use madder to change the pH of the dye precursors (I'll be trying the madder route/root :) ).
The madder patch is growing; note the black arrows that indicate new plants a foot away from the main plant that were the results from last year's rooting. Given that the roots (not leaves) provide the nice red-pink color, harvesting requires decimating a portion of the patch.