Wednesday, 16 February 2011

heat, water and harakeke

most of the dye samples from Hotwater Beach weren't overly thrilling
after all the lava-heated springs only crank up to about 60 degrees C
and there are a scant couple of hours at low tide to immerse bundles
before the cold waves come rushing in again

the most exciting results in the short time there was available were from windfallen Harakeke
[aka New Zealand flax or Phormium tenax]

it's a most useful plant - the source of dyes, medicine and fibre
i found a whole plant washed up on the beach
suspect it might have been a plant found in a similar state
a long time ago
that first drew attention to the strong and flexible fibre inside its big green leaves

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  1. Hey, India - The results look thrilling to me - good job, tide and earth!

  2. Morning India - I wonder what would have happened if you had your wet bundles and water in say, an aluminium billy with a tight lid, or a small copper tea pot in the pool you dug - even buried in the sand in the pool. The heat conductivity of the container may have enhanced the colour and process?? Presumably it would have taken advantage of the limited time between tides??? Worth another go I reckon.G

  3. What a strange and wonderful place you live in--compared to midwest corn fields, nearest ocean 1000 miles away. It was warm however today. A welcome 74 F after bitter cold and snow of the last weeks. Your samples looked beautiful to me.

  4. one plant - so many uses - cool, and such interesting custom surrounding the harakeke

  5. in truth i don't live there [yet...] but it's not too far, Pat, just across the ditch

    so i'll be back
    for more experiments

  6. Sounds like therapy to me and then great fabrics to use there on
    and love the granchild lolol just so much fun, the tiddler puss........enjoy!

  7. n.z. flax is a favorite of papermakers...mark lander does magnificent work with it.