One afternoon, I dyed clothes pins.

I’ve stretched a ribbon across one wall of our living room on which to hang posters and prints we don’t want to frame.  Right now it’s mostly my work, but I want it to be completely others’ work eventually.  We do have a fantastic show print from Hatch Show Print in Nashville, TN.

Anyway, I looked at my plain old clothespins holding up the posters and I took a notion to dye them.

I used some procion dye that I had on hand.  It’s a cold water dye that’s great for tie dye and batik.

I just dip-dyed the pins, experimenting with double-dips and gradients.

And when I was finished I  took great pleasure in organizing my custom-dyed pins by color.

I wouldn’t use these pins to hang wet clothes, though, for fear some of the dye would transfer to the cloth.  If you washed these after you dyed them, the color would be more subtle, but I think it would be dye-fast.  Thats the next experiment I suppose.  Dye is wonderful stuff- so incredibly intense.  In college I used it to create all sorts of effects on my watercolor drawings.  I loved watching it slowly spread across the page.

check out the work of Polly Apfelbaum, an artist who used dye to great effect:


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