The wind has bought the cold and I am feeling the draw of the inside rather than the lure of the outdoors. Quick trips to do chores and hastily harvest planned dye bath materials have become the pattern, rushing back inside before the next sheets of rain drive across the garden and onto the decks. Always, inside the fire is constant and the pots are happily holding their magic ingredients. Such a lucky place to be.
I will be leading botanical dying workshops next autumn that will focus on our particular native plants around Ōpunakē some of which I have never used before. So I rushed to harvest the seed pods from the Harekeke plants that line many parts of my daily dog walks. these pods ripen quite quickly and caste their enormous abundance of seeds far and wide from the long wind tossed shafts of the flower heads. They are magnificent as photographic studies and of course 100% iconic of NZ. The trick for this project was to capture the pods before they did this dispersal.
|close up of the flowers finishing and forming the seed pods
Anyway with a back pack stuffed full of these pods before they spilled their seeds I was a happy walker.
Then came the job of emptying the pods of their goodies. A couple of hours later I had this:
A big roasting dish full of these luminescent magical seeds.
Several hours of slow cooking on top of our trusty wood stove yielded a lovely dye colour once the seeds had been strained.
Into this deliciousness went some wool and of course some silk, back onto the wood-stove for an afternoon of gentle slow cooking.
And was it worth it????