Sunday, November 4, 2012

Salt Shaker Dyeing Birch Bark

Ya know when you are dying how you clean your dye spoons in Kosher Salt ~ the granules are larger than regular salt an more abrasive, therefore cleaning the spoons better.  During that process the salt gets dirty looking with lots of different color specks of dye mixed in. 

In an Eric Sandburg class he demonstrated how to make Birch Bark by doing the Salt Shaker method.  You would pre-wet your natural wool, sprinkle some of the salt onto the wool, roll it up, bind it and put it in your pot to simmer.  After the appropriate length of time you would use either citric acid or vinegar as the mordant to fix the dye.  You can see the jar used to clean my spoons and the shaker with some old dirty salt and some new salt.  The amount of salt you shake would depend on the look you are going for.
Here are two pieces of salt shaker dyed Birch Bark wool.  Oh I love Birch trees and have some in my yard but unfortunately, tho birch tree hooking is in my 'things I wanna hook' so far haven't drawn or hooked any.  And depending on the size of my project may need to do more salt shaker dyeing for more wool.  Think next time I'd be a little more heavy handed with the shaker in order to have heavier coverage.
I suppose you could even use this as darker snow for the shadows and hills and valleys with less intense dyed wool for the brighter.  Wish I had more time before my next camp do show you a step-by-step demo on what to do but this teaser will have to suffice for now. 

Thanks for stopping by for a spell and listening.  Saundra


  1. How cool is that? You are just so full of hooking know-how. Thanks for sharing!
    I just saw that Lucille Festa is teaching at Sauder this summer. Dang, I'd love to take a class from her but it's a 4 day class so there is no way. I need to win that darned lottery!
    Pug hugs :)

  2. Saundra,
    I've done a bit of salt shaker dyeing and thought it was fun, and I'm always surprised at what it gets hooked into. I do know that Cindy Gay has a birch bark wool dyeing technique on her website, but it's quite involved. If you ever give her technique a try, I'd love to know what you think.
    I could definitely see your wool used as snow shadows for sure!


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.