I was away for the Victoria Day weekend again this year. I go to FOOL or Fruits of Our Labours, an SCA event dedicated to teaching arts and sciences. It's always lots of fun. I always drag along a spinning wheel, but hardly ever have time to actually spin. This year I got about an hour of spinning in but really nothing to bother even showing.
On Saturday though, we did some natural dyeing. We mordanted with alum, iron and copper. We dyed with ferns, cochineal, dandelion and bedstraw. The bedstraw was disappointing in that it didn't give us any colour at all. It wasn't quite flowering yet and the dye vat water was literally colourless after almost an hour of cooking. It was quite cool and windy, and we were outside, so it's possible the bedstraw just didn't get enough time in the pot. The cochineal vat though, was awesome. We got beautiful pinks and purples. There was much dye left in the pot and I sent it home with one of the people in the class.
We had results - some good and some not so good but still, we had results and those pinks and purples are really luscious.
Orla, one of the gals in our group is mundanely, a jewellery maker. Her work is gorgeous. Several years now, she's run an enameling class. A couple of years ago, I made a little cloisonne pin. This year I did an etched pin, based on an Anglo-Saxon original. It's the one on the left which looks awful because it had just been heated to cherry red with the blow torch, to melt the glass onto the copper and it's just cooling down in this photo. I ran out of time to get it finished, so it went home with the instructor and I'll fetch it at a later date.
There were a couple of other classes that I wanted to take, but with teaching on Saturday and the weather streaming down rain all day Sunday, I ended up not doing all I'd hoped. Still, it was a great weekend and we've already started planning next year's event.