Hello Fall!

Well hi there, long time no update.

I’m just not good at this self discipline thing.

Happy Autumn everyone!

I so love fall, it makes me feel so productive and inspired.

As I do every year at this time, I’m once again building inventory for the arts and crafts show held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Holiday Inn in Sheridan, WY. I will be there again this year, as will my wheel. If you want to attend a truly great show, I suggest attending! There are some truly amazing people who attend with their wares, I look forward to going every year.

This year I’ve changed some of my dye techniques as well as my primary dye preference. When I first started dyeing fiber, I used Kool Aid. I then progressed to Wilton’s paste food coloring and then when my ever increasing need for more colors grew I finally took the plunge with acid dyes. I started with Jacquard acid dyes, I still have over 30 colors in stock. But eventually I started to feel limited by that selection as well and in January of this year I ordered a small bundle of Cushing’s acid dyes. I’ll admit that initially it was not a pleasant experience. I was used to being able to dump a lot of color on fiber using Jacquard and not having it saturate so much or so darkly, I guess. It took a lot of trying but eventually got the hang of the more concentrated (in my opinion) Cushing dyes and things just took off from there.

My last post I showed a bunch of hand painted rovings, over 80% of those were dyed with Cushing dyes, so you can see that my love has become full blown.

I will say that I still haven’t found anything that can beat Jacquard’s Hot Fuschia though, that is a truly great shade of hot pink.

In July I went to visit my best friend Jen, she lives in Maine. One afternoon during my last couple days there, we journeyed to Kennebunkport and visited the Cushing dye studios! That place knocked my freaking socks off, it was just so wonderful. We were there for well over an hour looking at swatches of wool dyed in half a dozen strengths of their acid dyes and I was able to see first hand what colors didn’t appeal to me on a computer screen or a glossy publication. Neither are a bad way to shop, but if you can see or purchase swatches first hand I highly recommend it. And if you go to Cushings, ask for Gillian because she is about the coolest, most helpful person I’ve ever met in the dye world.

I guess for me it depends on mood. If I want a true baby blue, I’ll break out the Cushings. Easy, no mixing. Instant gratification. If I want that hot pink that is so elusive, I chose Jacquard.

I mainly use Jacquard for kettle dyeing and Cushing for hand painting, but that’s just my preference. That said, my collection of Jacquard has stayed at 36 colors (Jacquard produces 40 colors) and 60 out of the 94 shades offered by Cushing. I would guess it’s all part of the evolution of coming into my own as a fiber artist (though quite honestly I don’t consider myself to be one) and someday I might discover something new.

As a side note, those that think that those tiny envelopes of Cushings aren’t worth the approximate price of $3, vs. about $5 for a small jar of Jacquard I will tell you that in my experience a tiny bit goes a long, long way! I’ve had some of my envelopes since January and I’m still not close to being out.