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Bespoke Letterpress

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The Log Header
Aug 30
:: the colours and my pattern addiction ::

Life & Love, Travel
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“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this?
No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” ― Pablo Picasso

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there these last few weeks during the awful malware disruption to our website. A huge hug & thank-you goes out to Ghostly Ferns for coming to our rescue! Now continuing on with more photos from Peru … These are truly some of my favorites. I have a weakness for colour, natural fiber and of course Alpacas & Llamas. The Andes are filled with a great diversity of plant life and the Andean people have a rich knowledge of the use of these plants for medicines, and for dying their cloth. The demand created by foreign tourists {me} for ‘natural’ handmade products, has meant that the Peruvian people are now placing much greater importance on the use of natural dyes, and the preservation of their ancient traditional skills. Red is a very important colour to the Andean people. Since ancient times, red has been the brightest and most highly-saturated colour that could be produced with natural dyes. This fact, coupled with the peoples’ innate love for bright colour, has led to red playing a dominant role in the palate of traditional Andean cloth. Cochineal is the most commonly used substance for the production of red dye. It is a scale insect {relative of the aphid} found on the prickly pear cactus, which is common to the Sacred Valley. The insect is ground using stones or mortar and pestle to release the deep red pigment, which is then added to water and boiled as the basis of the dying process. Additives are used in with cochineal to adjust the hue. I learned that lemon salt is commonly added to change the red to shades of pink, purple and more, it is amazing to watch! There are other substances that are used to produce red such as, Achancaray, and the roots of Chapi-Chapi (a relative of Old World Madder), which was used in ancient Peru I was told.  I was lucky enough to bring some natural dyes home with me and hope to use them soon for some “pops” of color in future design projects, stay tuned. What are your favorite colour combinations in nature?


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