Monday, January 25, 2010

Show Preparation . . .

Getting ready for a show involves so much more than just sitting down to sew a bear or rabbit!
There are countless hours spent on other tasks . . looking through "inspiration books", heading to antique shows in hopes of finding that wonderful something to base a piece around . . . . and dyeing mohair!
Mohair comes in many colors and styles but hand dyeing gives each piece it's own unique color and patina. You can't buy these colors off the rack or get that old look of being boiled and scrunched and dried. So. . . for as messy a job it is . . the end result is so very worth the effort!

My "system" is not at all science. Mostly the "Wing & a Prayer" method !
Yes, I have a dye book, written by Emma Lou Lais and Barbara Carroll (a lovely hooking friend!) "Antique Colors For Primitive Rugs". But . . I mainly look at the pictures, read what basics go into a color then do my own thing! I dye as I cook . . . with very little measuring involved! I use different types of dyes but Cushings makes so many wonderful colors ! Quite messy and I have been known to live with pretty red or green fingertips for a week!
It's very difficult to tell for sure when the mohair is still wet , what it will look like once dry. Usually I'm happy, but if there is a piece I don't like I just set it aside to be overdyed next time! There is always a next time!
This time I have a lovely stack of Earth colors for sweet little bears and rabbits!

Come see us this coming weekend at:

Lori Ann


Heidi Steiner said...

The mohair colors are yummy.
Have a great show!!!

Doreen said...

What lovely and inspiring photo's. I dyed my first piece of mohair just a few days ago....gracious it was so scary...but I really do like how it came out..of course....I used the a little of this..a little of that method with no that color will be close to impossible I'm sure!

Have a wonderful show....I so wish I could attend and see your wonderful work in person.


The French Bear said...

Lori Ann, what fun, I love the stained finger look, I have that a lot too!!! I had a picture of Mabel on my blog and everyone was asking for your web address. Sorry I had her clothes off, I was doing a white theme, poor naked girl!!! I must make her something white!
I hope that you have fun and enjoy the show! I know I can't wait to buy myself another baby!!!
Margaret B

Possible Impossibilities Studio said...

I love the "in process" photos. Good luck in the show! Deb

Wendy said...

Lori Ann,
I just got back from King of Prussia yesterday and guess what..there is no snow there!!
Have a wonderful show,
Wendy Collins

T's Daily Treasures said...

That bear is gorgeous and has so much personality! It certainly is a process getting all that mohair just right for your wonderful creations. Good luck with the show. Blessings, Tammy

Anonymous said...

Hi from Nova Scotia Canada! I love your bunnies and bears, they are SOOOO georgeous! I have started playing around with dye myself and am wondering if you might have some advice, how does one manage to die the actual fabric? The hair takes on the color but can't seem to change the background color. I have put the mohair in the washer first to get rid of the sizing. any tips ? Paula

Lori Ann C. said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!! My fingers have now faded back to their original pin pricked, dryed out selves!
Paula . . . interesting that the backing of your mohair isn't dyeing . . is your dye bath really hot? (almost boiling?) Do you use salt or vinegar to set the color? What kind of dye and mohair are you using . . . as long as it's mohair with a cotton backing then it should take the dye very well.
Now . . . there are times where I'd love the effect of dyeing the mohair but not the backing so if you have any pointers there let me know!
Use my email if you need a longer chat!
Happy dyeing everyone!

Lori Ann