Thursday, November 16, 2017

Natural printing with tertiary students 專上學生的植物印染

I have a special project with the HK PolyU and my honour to share in a part of it for my natural printing with the students.  It's the first time for the tertiary students to encounter with such eco printing with direct prints from plants.  We used just rose leaves, sorts of ecualyptus leaves, sumac and onion skins.  They're creative and made the sample silk panels in two hours.

Little leaves composition
Shades of red, orange, brown and rich tones from onion skins

 With my simple basic skills they made the outlines and shades
Bright red from eucalyptus

 Clean and clear from lecturer's prints with only onion skins, simply bold and creative.

 Onion skins are really great prints.  The prints on silk with little outlines and shade looks like 3D effect after printing.  Even prints on the cotton iron carrier with pink shade of the original color.
A piece with all the materials - onion skins, sumac, rose leaves and eucalyptus.
Fabulous prints on silk panel
All my pleasure to share with the students as well the lecturer's pleased with the works.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Natural prints and lac dyes 花葉印染

This is knit silk jersey with natural prints of eucalyptus, flowers and dyed in lac (Laccifer Lacca - kind of insert).  Plants gathered on my way of biking last week.
日前騎單車撿拾花葉印染布料, 滿以為利用原有印上葉子的針織絲料再浸染紫膠 (介殼蟲染物)成為深紅底色, 然後再加些花葉做層次感印染, 誰料破壞了原意, 弄出太深沉底色, 可能是鐡的媒染劑太重之故, 花葉色調不見得明顯, 怎也好, 都是嘗試.

A short ride in suburb just wanted to get some more flowers for my natural printing.  Hibiscus tiliaceus by the seashore still blooming but getting less. 


 Lagerstroemia speciosa is at the end.  I was lucky to pick up some on the ground after strong wind. Also some Hibiscus on the grass after worker's pruning.

A day out biking was to energize myself and get inspired from nature. 

 With handful of fragile petals and leaves home I endeavored to redo the yardage of knit silk jersey already printed with eucalyptus and rose leaves.  The yardage is tube width I printed both front and back in plain.  I wanted to make another dress with some more flowers then make it with simple nuno felt technique.  Know that the "remake" may ruin the whole piece but keen on trying.  So it's dyed in lac pot overnight.

 I intended to dye it in lac to make the same red as this done last year.

Composition like this .......

After 1.5 hours boiling it came out too dark out of my expectation.  It's almost brown that the prints are not quite outstanding.  I thought the iron carrier may be too strong.

Anyway, the prints seems fine but only the background is bit dark.  A closer look can find the flowers prints well.
It's tube width with prints on both-side, I can put on either way or even upside down before actually decided the style.

Be it a dress or a wrap the only side I like is "less is more". 
This natural printing is kind of "discharge" technique learnt from Irit Dulman.  Anyone who has learnt or know the skills may find my outcome as reference only.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Natural prints with weeds and flowers 花花草草的植物移印染

Recently I like to use weeds for my natural prints.  On the hill side there are lots of weeds look like miscanthus but I don't know the exact name. 
十一月初的今日已是立冬, 香港仍是和煦秋天, 在山上野草隨風搖曳, 撿一把做印染, 一片絲綢實驗, 縫著兩端成為圍巾.
I know this kind of grass may not have pigments but no harm to try the shape as resist.
Composition of a few weeds, wild daisy and sumac on silk with one end dyed in cochinael.

After an hour boiling,  those plants with no pigments left shapes

I've done another piece with different placement of flowers and weeds.
Same, those only left the shapes.

The other piece I placed a few eucalyptus  just to make a little orangish or yellish.

 A soft tone panel with the weeds and leaves is done
Officially we're into winter time but only a bit cool in the morning or evening.

I sewed one of the panels two-fold and the ends connected. Simply a cowl scarf for autumn or winter.
 This is technique learnt from my teacher Irit Dulman.  Anyone who learnt or knew the skills may know how to make it.  This is only my experiments of weeds prints to share.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Visitor's foot prints over Hong Kong 與訪友遊走香港山水間

With the same fibre arts passion, natural printing brings us close connection.
 Nicola Brown from Ireland, spent a few days with us.  We've a wonderful time together with friends and family.  It's a short stay of Nicola en-route from Australia. To make her visit comfortable and enjoyable, just morning landed on Lantau we already started the fun day in sun, sea and sand .......
愛爾蘭藝術友人 Nicola Brown 訪港, 和暖的天氣及好友們盛情相陪, 在幾天的行程我們走遍山水間, 浦到埗大嶼山環島遊, 隨後西貢遠足, 街渡遊及後中港落馬洲邊界遠眺與大冒山觀景, 遊山玩水外我們也參觀絲綢文化展覽, 與我的好友製作植物印染. 在大嶼山還參觀片藍造  Indigo 11.50 藍染工房. ..... 一個充實的旅途.
Last year Nicola visited us in March and have seen our vibrant city.  Thus this trip she mainly wanted to see more our culture, rural and the old side of Hong Kong. The 6-day stay in Hong Kong was just a right time.  Nice weather, typical crisp autumn days that allowed us touring Lantau Buddha, Tai O village, Sai Kung, Lei Yuen Mun, Lok Ma Chau, Tai Mo Shan, Stanley........ We have fun in my urban apartment for natural printing with good friends, leisure walk in the pleasant nunnery in urban.  Visited gallery "In Praise of Silk" and bought fabrics, even a short interaction in an organic indigo studio in the rural village in Lantau.   We tasted assorted dim sum meals.  Some tasty and good service though some are quite an exceptional experience.
Now Nicola is back to home town. Thank you for her visit and my friends who joined us that made our moments more fun and interesting.
Below are captures of our splendid time all over HK, Kowloon, New Territories and outlying Lantau.

Steps leading up to the large bonze buddha........

Surrounded by greenery.  Down is Po Lin Monastery.

Another temple on the other side of Lantau.  On the top level there're ten-thousand statues of buddha.
Tai O fishing village with stilt houses

A visit to Tai Long Wan Village on Lantau Studio "Indigo 11.50".  The owner Max and his assistant Man Yick were so nice to show and explain us the process of their organic indigo. 
 The big indigo vats are temps.
 Next day of Nicola's visit was hiking with my weekly team. Early gathering in the pier of Sai Kung.
Up the trail for the stunning views of Sai Kung penisula with undulating mountains.

Finished hiking in 3 hours then a group picture with a few of us.
After dim sum lunch we strolled in the pier then a boat trip around the islands in Sai Kung
The very traditional boat, a bit bigger than sampan and stable.

A ride of 45-min for views of the geographic landscapes of small islands.
A closer look to the border of Hong Kong and China is up on the hill top. 
Liu Pok Village is easy to access by car then a short stairs up...... 

We're in the Hong Kong boundary with fish ponds and farmlands down on the hill side. 
 The further high rises are the southern part of China.
Rule out all those political disputes, we can't deny China is rising quietly with technology and finance.
With my brother's guiding we're on the top of Tai Mo Shan, the highest in the region. We can view the villages in the New Territories, even the further part of China in a clear weather

On top of the Tai Mo Shan any angle is stunning with greenery and trails for hiking

After the New Territories ride we're into ShamShuiPo for fabric sourcing. Can't believe such good price.  Nicola and I also bought some home.
Waiting for us is Mogi. He's so well behaved and welcome everyone of my guests.
A fun play of natural printing with my friends Florence and Grace. See how concentrated they're looking at Nicola's demo.
While Nicola's bundle is in boiling, Florence and Grace also done their composition.

After almost 1.5 hours excited to open it. 
 The cotton piece with my own gown Ming Aralia with clear and pretty resist that Nicola pointed for my trial.

We're happy with the interaction. All made their unique scarf / wrap

The exhibits of silk costumes in HKDI Gallery are good for a view
Old and modern design with silk, some designed by the students of the Design Institue

A leisure walk from my urban apartment to the busy central then a walk in the antique street

It's fresh to have green park in the financial centre and the Nan Lin Garden with classical design in urban city.
 In terms of cooking I am not a good cook. Florence and Grace were so kind to have bought dishes of their home made to share.
The Japanese cheese cake Florence made was so yummy
 One of the sea food meals in Tai O was great.  
We've good meals though not all are impressed but the final dinner in Peking Garden with the very authentic Peking duck was fantastic.

Nicola's first day started on Cheung Sha, Lantau.  The last day in Hong Kong was also stepping in the sand for little hunts. Last walk in Stanley where my tiny studio located.
Nicola's journey in Hong Kong was short.  I'm already brimmed with lots good memories.
She's already home safely.  Miss the great time but sure we'll meet again sooner or later in the other side of the world because we've the same passion.
Among all the great gifts Nicola gave me are the pebbles and shells she picked in the sands in Australia and Hong Kong. I will make use of them to make keepsakes of her visit.
Thanks for Nicola's visit and all my friends and family who made us a wonderful get together.
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