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bamboo reeds and madder lake

June 2, 2016

as a member of the organizing committee for Treadle Lightly

the 2017 ANWG Conference in Victoria

(click on the link for info)

here is a preview of one of the workshops

P1090358Bryan Whitehead will be teaching a workshop on making bamboo reeds

the bamboo is split and prepared a year in advance

P1090355it is cut incredibly thin and the edges are carefully finished

if it makes a circle when bent then the thickness is the same for the length of each pieceP1090357the reed is made on a simple wooden stand

between two pairs of upright bamboo frames

P1090349each vertical spacer is tied individually, both sides

the size of the string influences the spacing and thus the ends per inch (cm.) of the reed


wish I wasn’t working so I could take this class


meanwhile, the madder reduction has reached a neutral pH

the thickened pigment is poured through coffee filters

P1090336a small amount of precious pigment is the result

10 Comments leave one →
  1. elserine sprenger permalink
    June 8, 2016 12:55 pm

    Hi Jean, So excited that Brian is coming next year! Would it be possible to make an ondule reed during this workshop?


    • June 8, 2016 1:03 pm

      Elserine – hi, nice to hear from you. I very much doubt that an ondule reed is possible. It has a whole different set of problems and the materials will be all the same for each individual. In order to give each participant equal time I think he will have to stay on course. Maybe, if you are interested and find out how to make the reed you can adapt the technique to make your own ondule.


  2. June 6, 2016 1:18 am

    echoing Velma here. i do want to make alizarin lake.


    • June 6, 2016 7:50 am

      Neki – I want to make the lake too, it takes vast amounts of good madder and I didn’t get all the ingredients or amounts when we started. Have to work on this.


  3. vdbolyard permalink
    June 3, 2016 12:50 pm

    sigh. not sure i want to make reeds, but i would like to make one, anyway…


  4. June 2, 2016 5:15 pm

    Thanks for posting this information. I kinda figured out how to make one of the reeds by studying the one Bryan sent me, but it’s near impossible to find the proper bamboo. I’d love to take this workshop and hopefully will get a chance!


    • June 2, 2016 6:25 pm

      Kristin – would love to meet you if you’re coming to the conference. I’ll be working (hanging the shows) during the workshop times so can’t take anything. boo hiss!


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