Zoe Burt's inspiration, process and outcomes of art residency at MoDa

2019-05-23T08:02:37Z (GMT) by Zoe Burt
This project is part of Ceres Artists in Residence at The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA). The aim of the residency was to use objects from MoDA's collection as a starting point for exploration of natural prints and dyes with the aim of raising the awareness of sustainability in design research.

Feather Inspiration
1 Colour print, shown in 4 different colourways.
The inspiration for this textile design came from researching “feathers” in the MoDA collection archive, as shown on bottom left hand side of image. Feathers are an iconic design source and one I associate with freedom, flight and beauty. I was interested to see different interpretations – some stylised such as the Futuristic textile design featuring a pattern of peacock feathers by Blake from Silver Studio 1920 and others more painterly such as Textile with sprouting feathers, which has a lovely colourway of soft reds, oranges and mustards akin to a natural dye palette. My own design is a simple one colour repeat design, sourced directly from a feather sketch and developed into a screen print mixing painterly and graphic styles.
The top left fabric is on linen on a persian berry and weld background with a lac print, hand painted with iron. Fabric pre-mordanted with tannin and alum acetate.
The 2nd fabric is also printed with iron on linen which has been pre-mordanted with copper and eco-printed with tea leaves and onion skins. Eco printing involves pre-mordanting fabric then placing botanical matter directly onto the cloth, wrapping tightly around a pole and steaming it to fix the colour.
The 3rd fabric is on hemp-silk, pre-mordanted with alum, dyed with madder root, with a logwood print
The 4th fabric at the bottom of the page is on silk, dyed with dried dahlia flowers, printed alternately with logwood and iron.
All fabrics were dried after printing, then steamed to fix the pastes and washed out with cold-to warm water.

Hexagon Print
This textile design directly relates to the pattern the pages of the Dye Book from 1894. I took a digital photo of these pages and scanned it into adobe photoshop to create a black and white image. I then copied and pasted this into a geometric shape inspired by the front cover of Edward Bawden’s Book of Cuts front cover. Thus combining 2 points of inspiration from the MoDA archives to create an exciting new design.
The images on the left hand side show 3 pages from my sketchbook, the top image is the image of the pages from Dye Book 1894. This was a key point of research as it held the natural dye colour samples kickstarting the whole project. The opposite page shows the Edward Bawden book cover. The other 2 pages from the sketchbook show design development ideas.
The fabric on the top right hand side is dyed with lac and printed with logwood on hempsilk, mordanted with alum.
The 2nd fabric is on silk dyed with avocado and printed alternately with logwood, iron and soda ash, the latter 2 colours not shown on this photo.

Leaf Print
The design inspiration for this print came from researching the katagami stencils in the MoDA archive. I was impressed by the delicacy and intricacy of Autumn Leaf design K2.48 (shown top right hand size). I often press botanical matter as a source for design inspiration. I made direct link with this pressed leaf in decay which also had a lacey effect correlating with the katagami design. Using adobe photoshop software I scanned in the actual decayed leaf and changed it into a black and white image and increased the size to 95cm to make a bold statement instead of a repeat (image left hand side of screen).
Fabrics shown are silk dyed with madder printed with logwood, then iron overprint.
Underneath shows silk dyed with dahlia with logwood and iron overprint. All fabrics pre-mordanted with alum. Dried after printing and steamed to fix print paste, then washed in cold to warm water.

Zoe Burt fabrics
This pile of colourful fabrics have all been dyed and printed with natural dyes and print pastes inspired by the MoDA archives. The top fabric shows an avocado dyed silk base with a logwood print inspired by pages from the Dye Book 1894 and Edward Bawden’s front cover for the Book of Cuts..
Colours used here for dyeing include:
Avacado, lac, weld, madder, tannin from gall nut powder, madder, persian berry, lac, saxon blue, onion skins on a variety of fabrics including silk, hempsilk, wool ( nun’s veiling) and linen.
Colours used for printing are a mix of bio-waste and natural dye extracts and mordants and modifers. All fabric is scoured, pre-mordanted, dyed then screen printed, dried then steamed to fix the colour. Washed with cold to warm water to finish.