Goldenrod

Wildflowers and natural dyeing are closely connected. This year’s blooming goldenrod provide the dye material for dyeing my wool yellow for the coming year. Goldenrod provides a beautiful vibrant yellow, and is also a wonderful base coat for dyeing greens in combination with natural indigo. Working with natural materials means each item you create has […]

via Goldenrod in Bloom — Handmade in Canada

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Opus Daily Practice – day 9

#opusdailypractice

Opus Daily Practice day 9. The theme was “muted”. As much as I thought about creating a muted piece to fit the theme I am currently working on, the more the weather outside called to the theme. So after a quick snowshoe, I set about to do a quick , muted, en plein air watercolour. Soft, muted, and a limited palette. Photographed still wet, as it was going to take a bit to dry in sub zero temperatures.

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I also managed a bit of dyeing. Pomegranate for one skein and lac for another. I’m being very economical with my wool at the moment as I need to place another order….crazy when you think I order 25 lbs at a time!

#opusdailypractice

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New Hand Knit Items and a New Gallery

wine wrap handmade canadian giftsA new opportunity has arisen and I am pretty excited about it. The Frame It Store in Red Deer, Alberta (Canada) has added a new gallery to their venue, and my Wine Wraps and Bottle Sweaters will be for sale in this new space.

Both items dress up your bottle while keeping the contents cool. All are hand dyed in natural dyes and hand knit. The wool is 100% Canadian produced wool and milled in Alberta.

The new gallery space, “A Maker’s Emporium”, is having its grand opening this Thursday. If you are in town, come and check it out. It’s great to see new things happening in Red Deer’s creative community.

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Hand knit Canadian gifts and decor by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

Also for more items Handmade in Canada checkout:
www.handmade-canada.com

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Coffee Press Sweaters for Woods on Pender

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Coffee Press Sweater naturally dyed in indigo, chamomile, pomegranate and turmeric.

The Coffee Press Sweaters for Woods on Pender (Pender Island, BC, Canada) are complete. The sweaters will be dressing the coffee presses (and keeping coffee warm) in the accommodation units at the newest resort on the island.

Each Coffee Press Sweater is made of 100% Canadian produced wool that is milled in Alberta. The wool is hand-dyed in micro batches in natural dyes that I craft by hand. In keeping with the resort’s colors, the items feature colors created with marigold (right from our gardens), chamomile, pomegranate, turmeric and indigo. The Coffee Press Sweaters are knit by hand and proudly display the resort’s logo in the center band .

In addition to creating custom Coffee Press Sweaters for boutiques and the hospitality industry, we are always thrilled to sell our lovely handmade items to individuals. If you are interested in a Coffee Press Sweater we can be contacted through our website www.debra-hunter.com.

Handmade items by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

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We also profile our work at www.handmade-canada.com , a brand new site for Canadian artists, artisans, writers, musicians and growers. If you are a Canadian maker, please take a look as we are currently looking for new makers to join our project.

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“Remnants” (2015) – a new fibre art piece

"Remnants" (2015) 10" x 14" ntutally dyed and eco dyed cotton, naturally dyed cotton, silk and wool threads, hand stitching

“Remnants”
(2015)
10″ x 14″
naturally dyed and eco dyed cotton, naturally dyed cotton, silk and wool threads, hand stitching, lino cut bull skull

“Remnants” is finally finished. This fibre art piece, started in late October or early November has been a journey. Originally it was to be a small lino cut skull printed on naturally dyed fabric and then embellished by beads. As I worked on the piece the idea grew to a larger piece that incorporated eco printed fabric ( the leaf imprints), took on a landscape concept, and relied on hand stitching to create the image. The idea of beading was completely abandoned; too fancy for this piece.

This piece has a roughness about it. Raw edges. Rough fabric. Lopi tacked down. Fabrics dyed with marigold and tansy; dyes from the earth. It is a rugged piece, rugged like the prairies. Inspired by farms down dirt roads with skulls tacked on fences and adorning sheds, the bits left behind, and remnants of the past.

Art by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

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“The Star Money” (2014) – new fibre art piece completed

 the star money

“The Star Money” 17″x17″ (2014) naturally hand-dyed silk and cotton with glass beads

Last night I finished “The Star Money”, a piece based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale of the same name. The base of hand-dyed silk is embroidered with cotton and silk threads (again hand-dyed) and glass seed beads. In viewing the piece in person in shimmers as the light hits the piece due to the glass beads and the texture of the silk.

I think it is interesting to interpret a folk tale using folk techniques. Originally these tales would have been shared in homes in a day where cloth was stitched by hand, just as this piece was.

It is a whimsical piece with the homespun feel of the folk tale.

I suspect this could be a theme I may continue with, after all I have 210 Grimm’s Fairy Tales to choose from.

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Artwork by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
www.thehuntergroup.ca

“Sunset, North Saskatchewan River” (2014)

“Sunset, North Saskatchewan River” (2014) 32inches by 40 inches naturally hand-dyed cotton, silk and wool hand stitched and hand beaded

The latest fibre art piece is completed after an ambitious and labor intensive 2 months. This is the largest piece I have tackled to date measuring in at 32 inches by 40 inches. The fabrics and threads have all been hand-dyed in hand crafted natural dyes. Cutch, lac, madder, pomegranate, logwood and tansy are the plant-based materials that bring the color to the piece. Thousands of glass beads add the light and sparkle to this Alberta landscape. Unfortunately an internet picture can’t convey the scale, it is really a piece that makes you stop and look (and touch…….the beading is really cool to touch!).

Here are a few of the details:

sun

sun

 

trees

trees

 

river and dead trees

river and dead trees

 

island

island

 

river

river

 

more trees

more trees

 

Working large definitely has its challenges, from the amount of time the piece takes, to finding a work space that works for stitching, plus finding a mounting method that works. The bigger piece definitely does provide more visual impact than the smaller pieces I have done. It was a great experience to work large and it is something I will do again.

 

Artwork by Debra Hunter
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca

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Another Trial Bracelet

(please click on the above images to view a larger image)

This bracelet is another one of my naturally dyed experiments. The cotton thread has been hand-dyed in natural dyes of cutch, madder and marigold. The bracelet was then tied with one continuous piece of cotton thread. I like the look of the bracelet, but tying a wide bracelet with a continuous piece of cotton is a very time consuming affair. The width of the bracelet is nice, and the fit is comfortable. This is definitely a design to continue exploring.

Bracelet by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

Prairie Dawn (2013)

"Prairie Dawn" 2013

“Prairie Dawn” (2013)

dimensions:  main section of stitched and beaded silk – 18.5″ x 10″ overall dimensions including mounting – 29″ x 14.5″

medium:  fibre art

materials: silk fabric, cotton fabric, wool yarn, cotton thread, bamboo thread, silk thread, glass beads, wire, jute, arbutus driftwood

“Prairie Dawn” is the ultimate “close to home” piece of art. The topic of the piece is a typical Alberta landscape complete with a straight horizon and patchwork fields. The natural fabrics and threads that form the piece have been dyed by hand in micro-batches of home-made dyes; and when I say micro, I mean micro….some of the batches are 2-3 feet of string….that’s it. The dyes have been made with tansy, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, turmeric, marigold, arbutus bark, blackberry, cutch and madder. The marigold used as a dye stuff was harvested from my garden, the arbutus bark was collected from beneath our tree in our place in British Columbia, and the tansy was collected from ditches that run alongside fields just like those depicted in the piece. “Prairie Dawn” is mounted on a piece of arbutus driftwood suspended by wire reminding me of the barbed wire fences that criss-cross our local landscape. “Prairie Dawn” embraces the hand-made and home-grown attitude of early rural Alberta.

Beading detail in the rising sun.

Beading and stitching detail in the fields.