sushi anyone?

top-bottom: these tiny bundles remind me of a platter of norimaki, maguro, tekkamaki, and tamagoyaki delectably arranged on a wood surface (tongue-in-cheek expression)

One weekend, I took a ride with a girlfriend of mine to a wholesale flower mart in downtown San Francisco. This place has over fifty vendors specializing in a large variety of cut flowers, foliage, plants, and floral supplies. It is one of the largest and the best place to be if you want to get fresh flowers. I got a bunch of  Galax urceolata,  a few stalks of Leucospermum or protea cordifolium, Cupressus funebri, or mourning cypress, and Eucalyptus. I especially love the Galax or beetleweed. The leaf is rounded heart shape with a shiny surface and it is use in making corsage and boutonnières in the floristry industry. Following are pictures of eco-print experiments I made with some of these plants.

Galax or beetleweed

Leucospermum, also known as protea cordifolium or pincushion. They are hardy plants and make for lasting flower arrangement.

silk bundles tied up in cut untreated wood, ready for the dye pot

Freshly steamed bundles, ready to be opened.

test #1: Leucospermum or protea cordifolium

deep prints from the leaves of Leucospermum or protea cordifolium

colors showing on both sides of fabric

mirrored image of leaf print

love the reddish-brown color—almost russet

test #2: Cupressus funebris, or mourning cypress. The leaf is flat and lacy and scale-like

streaks of sage green, with grey and white from tied string markings

I love every moment of this–unwrapping each fold to see what’s inside

Woohoo–the alchemy of eco printing is truly satisfying.

test #3: Citronella, or mosquito plant–a must have for the summer to repel bugs and mosquitoes

brownish and white prints from tied strings marking, leaf showing light stain

soft mushy leaf with little color print–not a good candidate for eco printing. However, the bundle gives out an incense-like odor

test #4: Galax urceolata or beetleweed

dark streaks and color migration–exciting

the spent leaf is jet-dark in color–almost like the Japanese nori in sushi

mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

sunny yellow against brownish and charcoal background with coal-black and white from tied strings markings

Today’s eco-dyeing experiment has produced some unexpected and amazing  results. The addition of vinegar (acetic acid) into the water in the dye-pot has caused a chemical reaction resulting in these beautiful colors.

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happiest”.

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One Response to sushi anyone?

  1. Terriea says:

    The exciting moment is always unwrapping. love the last outcome of yellow. Thanks for the sharing. You’re very nice in documenting.


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