We continued our look into Autumn by making some autumn cushions using Dala Sun Colour dyes. These are a liquid heliotropic paint which means they give a photo negative quality. You place items or stencils on top of the material you have dyed and the pigment will become faded in that area leaving an impression of the item.
We took a table outside so that the dyes could get their full effect. Luckily for us it was a beautiful sunny day with little wind, even if a bit chilly. We pre soaked the calico squares (25x25cm) in water. This enables the dye to flow a little better and go a bit further. We put a little squirt of yellow here and there and the same with the orange. We’ve run out of the magenta that we’ve used in the past.
We placed some of the leaves we’d collected on top. This year we also soaked the leaves in water to help make them adhere to the calico. The leaves that sit flat tend to leave a better imprint than those that bunch up a bit.
I’ve taken the dried calico squares home for the weekend in order to sew them up ready for the stuffing next week. I’ve ironed them as the dye needs to be heat set. We plan to stuff the cushions with plastic bags so that they sound like autumn leaves rustling in the breeze or crunching under our feet. We have some eucalyptus spray that we use for cleaning so we will also give the inside of the bags a spray with that or put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in. We want our cushions to feel, sound and smell like autumn. A delight to all our senses.
While some of the children were outside working on this project with my Education Assistant and the TAFE student we have working with us for this term some other children were inside painting up a storm with the autumn colours we put near the painting easels. I love how this child decided to swap colours every few centimetres to show the changing colours of the leaves.
**UPDATE 2/6/2012** You can see the finished cushions here.