Monday, 4 May 2009

blethering in belgium

a last few images from my 'day off' in London...those above from an architectural salvage firm near the old Cremorne pumping station

here's my mudlarking haul. that spotted egg is a nice addition to my collection of darning stones

after London i went to Belgium, a place i'd only ever shot through on a fast train. now that i've discovered just how delightful it is i'll be back often, i hope. travelling to London City Airport [arguably the nicest airport i've yet graced with my presence] on the Docklands Light Railway i spotted this splendid sinuous there someone out there who'd care to tell me what it is, please?

these friendly furries allowed us to collect leaves in their domain

my friend Marina organised a workshop to be held in her lovely garden...a labyrinth of delight full of trees and flowers, ponds and hidden corners
not to mention luscious weathered paintwork [which reminded me of the Rosalie Gascoigne exhibition in Melbourne a few months ago]

hard to believe this garden was coaxed from piles of rubble and metal left by a former ironmonger

the usual suspects, bundles full of promise...

we discovered that my oft-repeated phrase "time is your friend" was particularly relevant to strawberry leaf prints when they'd been made in the presence of iron. without any mordants they printed bright green, with iron [scrap, NOT ferrous sulphate] present they were first a gentle gold, but if kept moist would develop this lovely purple after a couple of hours

here's Wieteke, inspecting her woollen scarf [click on her name to visit her website, a wonderland of possibilities]

eucalyptus looking particularly gorgeous against the verdant green

and that lovely teal emerging in the dyepot is what happens to the dye made from red hazelnut leaves when it's allowed to lurk in an aluminium pot for an hour or so...


  1. The steel structure is the Thames flood barrier, designed to control the amount of water coming up the river from the sea when there's a really high tide - about 4 times a year. Chrissiepedia!
    never mind all that - I love seeing the photographs of your alchemy

  2. and there i was thinking twas another Gehry Guggenheim that i'd missed....
    thank you

  3. Now you know how beautiful it is over here you might decide to come back more often.

  4. oh that green..... so luscious! red hazelnut leaves? as in autumn time red or a particular species?

  5. what an interesting blog! i am so glad i wandered in here...

  6. it's a red-leaved form of corylus which was rich in colour despite it being only mid-spring. my guess is that the colour [of the dye] will become even more intense as the season progresses

    i'd love to be there making ecoprints from them in the autumn...who knows, the way life has a habit of happening while one is making other plans [apologies to John Lennon] i might be back sooner than anticipated!

  7. beautiful many of them! Visiting this blog is a visual feast and I can almost smell nature wafting... cheers!

  8. the images, especially the wrapped bunndles, followed what I suppose to be the results, brilliant. In a strange way it reminded me of a verse by Rikyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony)(goes with your love of tea drinking India)
    "when you take a sip
    from the bowl of powdered tea
    there within it lies
    clear reflected in its depths
    Blue of sky and grey of sea"

  9. My appetite is wetted for what will happen next week!!!

  10. very beautiful snaps and amazing designs in dye.

  11. ooooo Wieteke's scarf is wonderful..........

  12. Is that cat naturally cross-eyed?
    or are you dangling some little delight to distract it?

  13. your wanderings are so interesting - enjoy - the workshop looks terrific!

  14. i adore the finds, remind me of a windswept day not so long ago with two dear friends and the joy of a serendipitous moment in time. aaaah ... T H E clothesline, i adore these clotheslines from which hang cloths resplendent. inhale their earthy scent and sigh as each bundle unfolds to reveal it's secrets. i am walking again which means soon, soon i will be dyeing again just for the joy of it.

  15. hehe, i see a button there too. and that it was a shell one. how fitting!

  16. wooow, these outcomes are (again) gorgeous. Yes the smell is also good, even when the leaves are smugged and even when the fabric hasn't been rinsed and dried for several days, weeks.... I like the sweet tones in it! xD