a participant in a recent workshop has suggested via email that there may have been a hidden ingredient in the dyepots used by the class, as said participant has apparently had difficulty in replicating class samples at home
it was even implied that the eucalyptus leaves i had brought from home had caused the results to be brighter and richer than might otherwise have been possible
said participant had made samples from leaves she had brought to the class herself. the samples were really very beautiful.
the really funny thing in all this is that because the leaves i had brought with me were quite dry, ecoprints from them were mere shadows of what they might have been [although when brewed in the usual way they produced the anticipated rich orange-red] and were far eclipsed by the ecoprints produced by our friend.
i have only once before carried dye materials from home and that was specifically in order to demonstrate the difference that the water used as a substrate makes when extracting dyes from eucalypts. the sample from home was a deep rust red, the sample produced at Hyderabad for the UNESCO conference was a mustard yellow. same leaves [picked on same day from same tree], same merino jersey, stainless steel [non-reactive] vessel, but different water.
so, what have i learned from this exchange? i've learned to practice what i preach..use only local materials and DON'T bring dye materials from elsewhere, it only leads to confusion. i'll stick to what i have done 99% of the time and just work with what i find available near the workshop location
there really ain't no mysteries to what i do, folks, just the simple magic of leaves, cloth and water
oh, and a few muttered incantations learned from an ancient crone in the shadow of a crystal boulder by an enchanted lake in a mysterious forest... east of the sun and west of the moon