Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hooray for Buttercup!

Sorry this post is a day late. I've been bravely battling a cold since Saturday night and finally I can breathe properly out of my nose. Anyways, the recent weather and a lovely picture has inspired me to do some research on yellow.

photo taken by Sandra Juto

Is that shade of yellow a buttercream, buttermilk, or buttercup? I'm leaning more towards buttercup and I adore it. It's not a garish rubber duck yellow but a soft, muted sunshine yellow which makes me think of summer naps and cold lemonade.

Wikipedia has a very detailed article about yellow, but I felt a bit disappointed after reading it. There didn't seem to be much talk of its history and how people were able to get the pigments and dyes they wanted. And that's when my research started to stray and fall off topic. I couldn't find much specifically about yellow, or at least the info that I wanted to know. Thus dyeing methods and materials became my focus. I found this great post on how to dye clothes naturally, not something that I've been thinking about but definitely something fun to try. As with all dyes, it is better to use natural fibers as synthetic ones cannot soak up the dye evenly. So grab a cotton t-shirt rather than a polyester/rayon one to experiment with.

palette: light grey, electric indigo, buttercup, opera mauve

More browsing led me to book searches and this little gem. My colour theory lessons at the university were very limited...I think we spent one week making our own colour wheels...CRIMINAL, I know! Color: A Natural History of the Palette sounds right up my alley with all of the history, research, and cultural background that goes along with pigments and their sources. I'm sure I'll end up a blabbing pot of knowledge after I read this poor friends will have to endure the random facts of pigments and dyes, or maybe I'll just post all about it here. :)

photo from Gardenista

Another great book I found is all about mushrooms and how wonderful they are for colouring fibers. It's written by Miriam C. Rice who is credited for "mushroom dyeing". Rice tossed a few mushrooms ( Naematoloma fasciculare) into a dye pot with wool yarn and ended up with bright yellow yarn. Both books are on my wishlist, although I'm not too sure where I will find mushrooms in the city. I guess I'll save mushrooms hunts for the weekends when I visit my family in North Georgia.

Oh and if you love colour and want to see more of the yellow, I added a few pics to my flickr favs.

Have a great week!

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