Thursday, October 15, 2009

hapazome = brilliant

i recently learned about something called "hapazome" or flower pounding. a couple of weekends ago, the ecological artist rebecca burgess came to the uc botanical garden to teach a wonderful day long workshop on native plant dyes. little did we know that we'd leave knowing all that and more! i was enchanted with hapazote. the amazing textile artist india flint apparently coined the term. it is a way of using fresh flowers and immediately extracting the pigments and sealing them into our clothes or other fabrics. it was so easy, so gratifying and so beautiful.

you begin by laying down your piece of fabric. we used t-shirt scraps. then you lay fresh flower petals on the cloth as you'd like. we used a few such as nasturtium, pansy, cosmos.

then you lay another piece of cloth over the flowers-- if your using a t-shirt or big piece of fabric you can simply fold over the cloth. we then sprayed the fabric with water and soda ash or wood ash mixed in a spray bottle. when the cloth is saturated you can begin pounding:

my favorite thing about it is this: the flowers fade, but then, once they do you can keep pounding new flowers into your cloths or sheets or any fabrics to create these beautiful collages of your history and the flowers you've come across. the fabrics become histories of our lives and beautiful stories of our natural world. i LOVE it! thank you rebecca for teaching me this beautiful art and to your wonderful brother michael who took this great photos.


nicky said...

Thank you so much for explaining this fantastic activity. I only recently heard about it too. My recycling hero Alys Fowler (BBC 2, Wednesday evenings) tried her hand at this on her new gardening program. She used beautful leaf shapes and colours as well as the flowers, but it's great to be able to find out more. Am eager to have a go.

Things Hand Made said...

Do you need to "set" the fabric? Could you wash it now or would the colour come out again?

Kaveri said...

Sounds lovely! How do you "fix" the colour onto the cloth, though? Or does the soda ash do that?

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