Friday, December 03, 2010

Crow Work

New Crow piece from last Wednesday's Ustream episode.

Cutch and Madder Root dyed natural colored cotton muslin and dyed wool boucle yarn. 
Crow stamped with Setacolor Black Transparent Paint.
Machine Stitched.
6x8 inches.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Studio Live Stream

Made my debut today on Ustream with my first live test and all went well, thank you to Dale Anne and Diana for stopping by and critiquing!  I will be adjusting the cameras tonight and will be streaming live tomorrow from my studio 3-5pm Central Time.  Pre-Chat will begin at about 2:30ish PM Central Time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Encaustic - Playing with Wax

I will be live streaming from my studio this coming Wednesday 3-5pm.  Will be working on some encaustic collage pieces and maybe some other stuff as well. Check it out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Live Streaming from My Studio

I created a Ustream channel and will be streaming live from my studio starting next week. I'll be working on various natural dye, rust dyeing, composting, pigment painting, etc. in addition to a lot of collage mix media. I won't be able to particiapte in the chat unfortunately, my monitor and key board are across the room from me but will have a fix for that and soon.
You can find me at and search for kbaxterpackwood.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Shutting Down My Store

Taking down my store this weekend, I have lots on my plate right now, so if you are in need of something get it while it's available!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goldenrod Dye Pot

Goldenrod out in the field.

One pounds worth of fresh goldenrod plant tops will dye quite a bit of silk fabric quite nicely.

A close up of the blossoms.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gum Tragacanth Binder for Screen Printing.

To make print paste
2 - 4 Tablespoons of Gum Tragacanth depending on the consistency you desire. For painting I use 2 T. for printing I use 4 T 1000 ml of boiling water

Container to boil water in, and heat source for boilingwater
Squeegee or rubber spatula – the kind used for scraping bowls
Container with screw on lid – 1 quart variety
Respirator for handling the Gum Tragacanth in powdered form
Measuring cups and measuring spoons

Bring 1000 ml of water to a boil add to blender – after

I let it cool a bit so as to not wreck my blender.

Add 2 – 4 Tablespoons of Gum Tragacanth powder to the blender, put lid on blender and blend until a creamy consistency.

Remove from blender using a spatula or squeegee

place into your container with lid. I use wide mouth jars as this makes removing the paste much easier.

Cool the paste to room temperature, cover with tight fitting lid.

Store in refrigerator for up to ten days, I have found that it’ll last longer if you avoid introducing contaminants
to the paste.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Studio Update

I'm working on some new dye zines and a brand new dye book that is meant to answer many of the questions I recieve daily via email.   As you can see from the previous post I also acquired a new Flip Camera and am shooting How-To videos as well, this will also be available shortly.

Moldy Dye Bath - Test Video

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Salvaging the Unsalvageable

Rust • Wool • Pigments • Wax

Earth Palette
Taos New Mexico
September 29th & 30th, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emails and Dye Questions

I've been recieving more emails asking about natural dyes than ususal of late... my time is very limited these days with various projects, teaching etc.  Soooooooooooo if you email me a question and don't recieve a response please don't think I'm ignoring you, in fact check back here because I may well have posted your email and the anwsers here.  Unless otherwise specified I will remove email addies from the email.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

Studio Shots

Fabrics dyed, compost dyed, and or screen printed with natural dyes from five or six years ago and soon again later this week!  I'm off to clean and reorganize the studio time to for some surface design!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wool Bundles

I'll open the rest of the wool bundles tomorrow, right now they are on the skirting table drying out, they are still soaking wet from Thursday night's rains.  Some of the bundles look more interesting than the others but that doesn't mean that there isn't something wonderful waiting inside.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wool Bundles

I'm hoping to open my wool bundles tomorrow finally!  It looks like it won't rain tonight fingers crossed, I'm really curious to see what they look like inside.

Mottled Golds

Osage Orange on Silk Organza Net that I left soaking in a shallow dye bath for several days. 
42x32 inches - Silk Organza Net.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Three Winters Table Cloth

Three Winters Table Cloth after spending two days in a revived Osage Orange Dye Vat.

Five Year Silk Fibers

Originally my wool bundles were in the basket atop the silk fibers, sometime last summer I removed the bundes as the silk fibers were still in prestine condition.  Now the fibers have started to decompose and in a really interesting manner.  The silk cocoons have been dyed with natural dyes.

Five Year Bundles

Bundles of wool fabric that have been outside for approximately 5 years now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Three Winters Table Cloth

Three Winters Table Cloth, vintage Damask, after being unwrapped.
After washing
Now in last years Osage Orange Dye Vat.

Moss and Rust

Three Winters Cloth

Three Winters Cloth sitting atop my indigo vat lid.  These bundles, wads would be a better description, of fabric, table clothes, and linen towels have been here for three winters/years.  I expected way more damage than what occurred.  There was some rusting (yeah) due to the fabric touching the iron grid next to the dye vat.  More pics later.

Five Year Old Cochineal Vat

I found this cochineal vat buried in my wet studio, it's been hiding in a corner for five years now!  I brought it outside thinking it'd have a good coating of mold on it but it didn't, I think I may have modified this one heavily with citric acid.

Revived Cochineal Vat

I scooped the mold off the top carefully and refilled the pot with water, the cochineal vat revived beautifully.

Overwintered Cochineal Vat

Three Winters Cloth

A five yard section of cotton fabric that has been sitting outside for the past three winters, it's currently in the washer and will go into a revived cochineal vat shortly.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Western Teaching Tour

This coming fall John and I will be doing a four week tour of the west! During this time, from September 16th through October 10th, I have several workshops scheduled, if you would like to host me for a one to three day workshop during this time please let me know as I would love to add your guild, organization, school, etc., to my schedule!

I can be reached at or 515-232-0912 for additional information regarding classes, workshops, or speaking engagements, etc.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is here!

Spring is here and now is the time to start digging out those old dye vats from last fall that have been hibernating in the basement. First up for this Springs Dye-In will be an Indigo Fermentation Vat. If you've never tried an indigo vat before now is a great time to do so! I'll be posting how to instructions along with video and more.
If you haven't checked out the Natural Surfaces Forum please do so We've been gaining members daily and natural dyeing discussions are picking up speed again now that the warmer temps have arrived

Studio Newsletter

Just catching up to let everyone know that I now have a newsletter once again. If you were a subscriber in the past you will have to sign up for the newsletter again as the previous subscriber's listed vanished into thin air.

The subscription box is in the right hand column.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

DVD Link

Hi Everyone, thank you for your paitence I'm not sure why the other DVD link doesn't work, I'm hoping this link works for the DVD

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mark Making with Nature DVD - Now in Stock!!!

Mark Making with Nature DVD - Now back in Stock!
By Surface Designer Kimberly Baxter Packwood
Over 2 hours of Video Instruction (5 Discs) & 53 Pages of Supplemental Instruction Included(PDF)
Everything you ever wanted to know to create unique cloth using natural dyes is covered in thisDVD Set, an excellent companion to the Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Technqiues Book.

Topics Covered Include:
  • Compost Dyeing: Several methods of compost dyeing are demonstrated.
  • Screen Printing with natural dyes, using thickeners and more.
  • Bound Resists with natural dyes how to obtain rich layers of color on fabric. Monoprinting & Stamping with natural dyes.
  • Create additional depth and design to your fabrics by stamping and printing them using natural dyes and pigments.
  • Dye Painting with natural dyes using thickeners, gutta resists, and much much more. Pigments: using pigments with natural dyes to create additional character to your art cloth.
  • Included is a 51 PDF booklet (this booklet is on a CDROM which you can then print out) that includes additional images and details on how to obtain gorgeous art cloth using natural dyes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dyeing Paper - One Approach

Size your paper with soy milk, let it dry/cure 12-24hours.  Then apply some pomegranate extract, or any natural dye extract, natural earth pigment, etc., to the surface of your paper.  Allow to dry.  Btw you CAN do this for paper pulp as well but this becomes a little trickier and is a bit on the advanced papermaking side of the spectrum.

You need to allow your paper to cure for 3-6 months, depending on the heat and humidity levels of your locale, BEFORE you rinse the excess dye off the surface of the paper.  Not exactly a quick project I know BUT the colors can be quite stunning.  I highly suggest working with papers of mixed fiber content, not just cotton rag.  Experiment with flax, hemp, silk, recycled sari, papers for your natural dye projects.

How to Dye with Pomegranate

This method is for dyeing fabric and fibers, I will create a post on  how to dye leather, rawhide, and paper next.

Materials List:
Pomegranate Peels - Fresh (about 16 oz) or Dried (8 oz more or less)
Stainless Steel Pot
Water - distilled if your water is hard or softened
Fabrics or Fibers that have been mordanted

NOTE: If you are working with fresh Pomegranates you do not need the pulp/seeds so feel free to eat that part of the fruit, you will only need the peels. 

Using a vessel large enough to cover your dyestuffs, fill your stainless steel pot with hot water and add your Pomegranted peels, allow to soak overnight.  Same method applies to both fresh and dried peels.

Next day return your pot to the heat source and simmer peels for one hour. 

Remove skins, if desired, from pot using a slotted spoon being careful NOT to burn yourself.  NOTE if you do not remove the skins they will leave random marks on your fabric and fibers, some dyers like this random patterning.

Add your WET, premordanted, fibers, yarns, threads, and/or fabrics to the dye pot.  If your dyestuffs are dry the coloring, on your dyestuffs, will be mottled.  To ensure even dyeing wet your dyestuffs thoroughly before adding them to the dye pot.

Simmer your dyestuffs for one hour, a low boil is fine with Pomegranate as it yeilds dull gold colors not reds.

Remove from heat source.

Allow the dyebath to cool overnight.  Next day remove your dyestuffs and drain, rinse either in the sink or in your washer, being careful not to felt any wool fibers you may have dyed.  Dry in the normal manner (line dry)

Dyeing with Pomegranates

You can dye fabric, fibers, and even leather with Pomegranates.  Pomegranate dye can be obtained by cooking down either fresh and/or dried Pomegranate skins, eat the pulp inside your fresh pomegranates. You can also dye with Pomegranate extract available from select retailers.