Cheesecloth is an such innocuous cloth. It is not something that has the same reverence as silk or wool or linen. You may have some cheesecloth in your home, most likely languishing in your kitchen for cooking purposes such as when you get the urge to make cheese or to bundle your herbs when making soups or stocks. One customer, Lynn Jones, saw the potential for the lowly cheesecloth to transform into some works of art.
Lynn is a member of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Victoria and a part of the Worship Committee. The committee wanted to celebrate the Time for Creation in the season after Pentecost (from September 1st – an Ecumenical Day of Prayer for Creation, to October 4th – The Feast Day of St. Francis) During this time, the congregation will join with people around the world in a time to pray and recommit themselves to the care of creation with particular emphasis on the earth and sustainability.
After a committee discussion, Lynn was given a budget and planned the project. Lynn had been using Bengala dyes over the summer so they immediately came to mind. Bengala Dyes, also called mud dyes, come from iron oxide rich soil. Kosyokunobi, a company in Japan, has taken these ancient dyes and developed a process so that they can be used to dye most types of cloth, paper, and yarn producing subtle earth tones. Bengala dyeing is eco-friendly and no chemicals or hot water are needed. It is a simple and beautiful process safe for people and the environment.
As a SAORI weaver, Lynn already had two dyed warps in various colours, so wove those and then decided that more cloth was also needed to fill the 17′ x 30′ wall of the church.
She purchased 2 meters of different weights of cheese cloth and tested them at a dye workshop SAORI Salt Spring held.
They worked well, so she purchased 36 meters, in 6 meter pieces, to dye. After hemming, washing and prefixing the fabric a dyeing day was set up on the front lawn of Church of the Cross. Lynn had lots of help from volunteers to do the actual dyeing.
The pieces were tied on to pieces of wood and draped as you see in the pictures. The hangings will be displayed until Oct. 23, 2017.
Bengala dyes and classes in Bengala dyeing are available through Terri Bibby of SAORI Salt Spring.