Tuscan Summer Inspiration: Plant Dyeing / part I

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Tuscan landscape offers so many reasons for delight that it’s easy to find inspiration everywhere you look. Here I have found the time and mood to make an old dream come true, to explore the fascinating world of plants, their pigments and the techniques by which they can be transferred to other materials: paper, fabrics etc. I started with the paper, of course. I watched some tutorials on youtube but I knew the best teacher was practice so I put myself at work! In a few words, I’ll tell you how I did it, though, chances of failing are not too many, since every attempt has another yet amazing and wonderful result.

hardworking me

So, we need some simple, commonplace materials that can find around the house, without going out and spending too much:

PAPER – different types of paper react differently, have higher or lower capacity to absorb the pigment. But this is not the only variable on which the outcome depends. I tried with two types of paper: 1. –  packing paper , thinner and finer and 2. – a thicker and more porous paper, reused, from an old calendar.

my sandwich

PLANTS – You can opt for an intuitive process, as I did, by choosing among the plants and dipping the plants into water & vinegar solutionflowers that I found in the garden, or, if you want a more scientific approach, you can consult a guide of the plants normally used for dyeing . Here I have found quite a comprehensive list in this respect. However, it has to be said that there are many factors that influence the final result, in what way and how much the pigment will be transferred to the material: from the hardness of the water we use, the type and amount of mordant, the type of paper, the amount of rusted objects added, and last but not least , the material from which the cooking pot is made of.

MORDANT – as a mordant, I have found out that salt, vinegar or a more specific salt, called alum, can be used and is accepted as a natural fixer. I used vinegar this time.

POT for boiling – you can use an old pot, a bucket a cauldron, whatever is large enough to accommodate the papers horizontally. It’s advisable to keep the pot for this activity only. The material from which the pot is made will also influence the print quality. The most suitable for this purpose is copper.

PLATES – we also need two plates of metal, wood, wire (I used two sandstone tiles) between which we will press our sandwich of plants and paper. The plates should have the size of the paper or a bit larger, otherwise the paper will get damaged when the stack is tied up.

CORD – of any kind

RUGGED OBJECTS – nails, wire, board, chain, any rusty iron object, if added to “the soup”, will help to fix the colors.

Having all these prepared, we can start making a sandwich, starting up with a sheet of paper, adding a layer of plants then a sheet of paper and again a layer of plants and so on  until we have a stack of about 10 cm high.

We need to make sure that it stays horizontally in the pot. If necessary, we can fold the papers.. At the end, we put the stack between the two plates, press it tight and tie it tightly with a string. Then we put it to boil for about an hour and a half in a 4:1 water and vinegar solution, adding a few rusty pieces and a stone to keep it pressed under water. I added some artichoke flowers to the water too because I had them at hand, in order to give “the soup” a more consistent color 🙂

artichoke soup ;)

Once cooked, the sheets of paper are being washed under a stream of cold water and let to dry. For my projects, I also ironed the paper sheets after they dried up.

My findings after the first experiment: the more porous and thicker paper retained the pigment and the contour of the plant very well. The thinner and denser packaging paper absorbed less but I got more delicate, equally beautiful colors. In the second round, I used the already pigmented water from the first series, to which I added another glass of vinegar and I got more intense prints and colors than the first time.

the callendar paper

the packing paper

 

Eco dyeing it’s surprising every time: the way all the elements interact with each other, due to our intention and under our more or less skilled hands and the fact that we can control only a small part of the process it’s fantastic to me because it leaves room for the wonder, once more, in the face of nature.

And the play goes on! These first attempts of plant dyed papers will serve me to me portraitexperience various new forms of beads for a new eco jewelry collection, PLANT IMPLANT, to be launched this autumn.

Stay tuned!

And, meanwhile, do not forget to…

GO GREEN! WEAR PAPER JEWELRY!

😉

 

P.S I would be very glad to hear about your plant dyeing experiments, recommendations, tips, what to do, what not to do, materials, techniques, etc.

Many thanks!

 

 

 

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Chiramó / Doamna mea / My Lady

Am fost întrebată de multe ori ce înseamnă Chiramó. Chiramó este o formă adaptată, românizată, pentru “kyria mou” care în grecește înseamnă “doamna mea”. În orașul meu natal, Brăila, în perioada sa de glorie, comunitatea de greci era foarte numeroasă, astfel încât, cuvântul “chira” și derivatele sale erau foarte des folosite de locuitorii de toate naționalitățile. Am ales acest nume ca un omagiu subtil adus locului meu de baștină, dar și pentru sonoritatea lui ușor orientală și misterioasă, așa cum cred ca este fiecare femeie.
Astăzi, de 8 Martie, doresc tuturor femeilor, și mie însămi, să nu ne pierdem misterul, să nu ne rătăcim în faptele banale ale lumii ci să le transfigurăm, prin prezența noastră! 

Vă mulțumesc, “doamnele mele”, pentru că alegeți să purtați cu demnitate bijuterii din hârtie! ❤


I have often been asked what Chiramó means. Chiramó is a Romanian adaptation for “kyria mou” which in Greek means “my lady”. In my hometown, Braila, in its glorious era, the Greek community was very numerous, so that the word “chira” and its derivatives were very often used by the local people of all nationalities. I chose this name as a subtle homage to my native place, but also for its slightly Oriental and mysterious sound, as I think every woman is mysterious.
Today, the 8th of March, I wish all women, myself included, not to lose our mystery, not to lose ourselves in the trivial facts of the world but to transfigure them through our presence!

Thank you “my ladies” for choosing to wear paper jewelry with dignity! ❤

Mărțișor 2018

Acestea vor fi modelele de mărțisoare Chiramó pe care le veți găsi la Târgul de Mărțișor de la Muzeul Etnografic al Transilvaniei, în perioada 26 februarie – 2 martie, Str. Memorandumului, nr21, Cluj-Napoca.

Toate mărțișoarele sunt realizate din hârtie reciclată iar medalioanele si cerceii sunt lacuiți, ca toate bijuteriile Chiramó, fiind astfel foarte rezistenti la purtare îndelungată.

Ficare mărțișor este atent realizat și ambalat astfel încât să constituie un cadou special. Pentru alte detalii vă stau la dispoziție în privat.

Vă aștept cu drag la primul târg de anul acesta! 🙂

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MCH1

mărțișor
cod produs: MCH1
1 buc – 4,5 lei
3buc – 13 lei
5buc – 20 lei
10buc – 40 lei

3
MCH2

mărțișor – medalion
cod produs: MCH2
13lei/buc

2
MCH3

mărțișor- cercei
cod produs: MCH3
22lei/ perechea

1
MCH4

mărțișor – trandafir
cod produs: MCH4
6 lei / buchet

Vine, vine primăvara!

1

Ce frumos vine primavara la noi, la români și cum știm noi să o întâmpinăm, celebrând, în mod simbolic, izbânda vieții asupra morții, renașterea sevelor anturii și puterea biruitoare a luminii!

Să ne bucurăm așadar, de încă o primăvară împreună, o primăvară pentru întâmpinarea căreia v-am pregătit câteva mărțișoare de dăruit cu suflet mare, celor apropiați.

5

Marțișoarele Chiramó vor putea fi achizitionate la Trargul de Mărțișor de la Muzeul Etnografic al Transilvaniei, Cluj-Napoca,  intre 26 februarie si 2 martie.

Vă așteptăm cu drag într-o atmosferă caldă și dichisită, cu multe mărțișoare alese pe sprânceană și lucrate de mâinile dibace ale artiștilor și artizanilor din Transilvania.

O primăvară minunată tuturor! Ea este, oricum, minunată, numai noi să avem inima, puterea, curajul, curăția și ușurimea sufletului  pentru a ne putea bucura cu adevărat de toate darurile ei! ❤

 

 

Chiramó Jewelry Etsy Shop

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Hi everyone!

For me, this year started with great vibrations from the online world and encouraged me to be more present, more committed to the ones that I cannot see but who can see me through my work. So I decided to dedicate more time to my Etsy shop, the window to the world and people beyond my sight and who are responding wonderfully to my proposal of wearing paper as a piece of jewelry. I wanna thank every each of you for all your kind words and appreciation and advice and for just being there, miles away but still present.

I welcome you to visit my Etsy Shop, to come back to it to see the latest jewelry creations and I encourage you to ask questions, tell me what you like, what you don’t like, start a chat, make some noise :))

Go green! Wear paper jewelry! 😉