Thursday, January 1, 2015

Turning Red

I'm preparing to do a teardown and rebuild of my spinning wheel this season. She put in a whole lot of hours for spinzilla, she deserves some pampering. In addition to the wood spa action, I was considering spiffying up the old girl. I intend to stain it a new color, and add some wood burning.

 First, is the making of the stain. (Of course I'm making it, that's how I roll.) I used alkanet as the dye stuff, alkanet it a root with a rich crimson color, but the dye particles are only soluble in oil or alcohol. Traditionally it has been used to dye wines a darker red,  color wood, and in cosmetics. So, basically for making stuff look like other stuff (buyer beware!).

I added the dried root to olive oil, and heated it in hot water. It sat overnight and then I strained it. The gentle heat helped the herb infuse without breaking down the oil. I then added beeswax, broken up and grated. Can I just say that grating wax is the smartest thing I ever saw in a Pinterest post...
After the mix cooled, it became a very soft paste. I found an object to test on - an old spoon that has never satisfactorily seasoned. I gave it a light sanding since it was already lacking in a good finish, and polished it with generous blobs of the oil/wax mixture. 

As you can see, the results were less than mindblowing. The polish has brought out the grain, and given the spoon a much needed protective layer. But it's not really all that red...

I did some more reading, and will try adding the rest of the alkanet, ground to a powder, to infuse into the polish. See, not even a Craft Bitch gets it right the first time!

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