by Cassandra Vincent
I've been wanting to try tea dyed eggs. I knew there had to have been a ton of people who have done them already and sure enough I found a great post by Lu Ann over at The Teacup of Life blog with a good clear baseline on how to go about tea dying eggs. Here is the post: http://theteacupoflife.com/2017/04/diy-tea-dyed-easter-eggs.html
I thought this would be another opportunity to use some of the tea that was given to me that is no longer drinkable and that I've been using for art projects. So I pulled out three:
1) an old CTC black tea (CTC meaning 'crush'[or cut], tear, curl' processing method which makes for small even tea that looks a bit like pellets)
2) Bancha tea fannings and
3) chamomile tea bags.
I did use a large amount of tea to water ratio to get a deeper color - about 2 TB for a 10 oz. cup. I did use vinegar as well - about 1 tsp per mug. I admit, I didn't have the patience to leave them in overnight so I only left the eggs in for 15 min to one hour depending on depth of color desired. The black tea of course produced the deepest tone when the egg was left in for a long time, but produced a lovely pale brown when left in for 15 minutes (that is the 'Tea' egg in the photo above). I dabbed at one of the dark brown eggs with a paper towel after I pulled it out of the tea to give it a kind of mottled look which I really like. The green tea produced a light but pleasing green. The chamomile was very underwhelming though, only giving a pale yellow cast even though it was in for the longest time.
I used a white crayon to write 'TEA' on one egg prior to dying to play with the idea and found it worked really well. Though writing with white on white was a bit of an act of faith as I couldn't actually see what I was doing until after the dye job, lol.
I know that colored eggs are often looked at as an Easter thing, but I think they'd be a lovely way to plate hard boiled eggs for a brunch at any time of the year. I encourage you to explore the beauty of the earthy tones and the fun of creating designs as the muse strikes you. Enjoy!
by Cassandra Vincent
Ok. I’m sure many of you have heard that you can put used leaves in the garden. Supposedly the leaves can be composted, added to the watering can or sprinkled right onto the soil to add nutrients and keep the buggies away. Some companies like ITO en make pens and tatami mats out of used leaves. I was thinking about what else I could do with the leaves once the cup is empty.
Firstly, if it is really quality tea steeping the leaves multiple times is worth doing to experience the varied character of the tea. But after tossing pot after pot of leaves that have given up their last I thought there must be something else I could do. Then I thought as people paint with brewed tea why not ‘paint’ with the leaves themselves. This idea was compounded by my receipt of a big box of samples that were old and not properly stored. All the textures and colors were still in place, but other than the airtight puerh samples nothing was worth drinking. So my child-art-project self was tweaked. With a bit of glue, art paper, canvas, paint and some ideas I started to play. The purpose was even more process than product really. I got my hands on the leaves - feeling and seeing the differences in their textures: the twisted, rolled, broken and fannings and on and on. It was a great opportunity to expand on my experience with the leaves while having fun with them in a different way (check out this post on savoring tea in-depth). If you have children this could be a fun way of sharing tea with them. Even adults need play time though, so children or no I encourage you to get your creative juices going and play with your tea!
What do you think would make a great bit of tea art? Let us know on twitter, facebook, pinterest etc. Let the joy of tea spark your creativity.
by Cassandra Vincent
As I sip a ginseng infused maté I reflect on all of the tea and art I have had the privilege of encountering this week. I love encountering art that incorporates tea whether as paint or as subject. This week I discovered two wonderful pieces. The first also incorporates cats so I love it even more! It is called Teacup Ride by the artist Shanghee Shin, who has a definitive style capturing cats in very human forms of play. A colorful piece inspiring the feeling of fun as cats enjoy a teacup amusement ride while some sip from cups. As much as I appreciate the gothic and dark, I am also drawn to pieces that celebrate fanciful worlds and fun that touches the child in me and I can’t help but smile when I look at this piece. http://www.flower-pepper.com/shop/drawing/teacup-ride-by-shanghee-shin/
The second piece was a wild one to describe: monkeys having tea in the middle of a flower with a human face and mouths growing from it. Trippy! It is called High Tea and is by Edith Waddell. Check out the image – I don’t know what is in that tea but those monkeys look like they are having a serious good time. Give me some of that!
(Note: since first seeing this wonderful piece it has been sold, but by all means appreciate it and the artist anyway!) http://www.flower-pepper.com/shop/original-art/high-tea-by-edith-waddell/
Both of these pieces are on display at the Flower Pepper Gallery (www.flower-pepper.com) for this month’s ‘Here Comes Summer’ show through July 5th. If you want to spice up your walls with some tea centric art joy, Shanghee’s piece may still be available. I see that Edith’s has sold. Someone is going to have a happy wall! Shanghee also has prints available.
Here is one more piece from a previous show. I love the artist’s style blending the real and the imagined with touches that look luminescent. It is called The Pot Of Earl Grey by Leila Ataya. Teacup/pot and a sleeping kitty fairy with horns – I want to enter that world.
Wishing you the ongoing joy of great tea and beautiful art.
All mentions are from my sincere enjoyment of them. I was not paid for this post.
by Cassandra Vincent
I think tea is art in itself and that tea and art are a great combination. I love to see my tea. The color of the beverage is part of the whole experience. Even the look of the leaves is a sensate adventure and it is an exciting thing learning to recognize the different types of leaves. The more I know about the tea the more interesting the story becomes and I feel more a part of it. I feel that way about art too. As an artist I love the process as well as the product and love being let in on the details of someone else's work I find inspiring.
You may have already seen this but I am so jazzed by it I have to share. Canadian tea company Tealeaves and the Pantone Color Institute partnered to create an enticing interactive online exhibit where mixologists & food masters used tea and color to inspire beautiful beverage and food designs bursting with visual power. It is called "Palette for your Palate". The great beauty of connection that is the internet brings the artistic experience to you. You can view the exhibit here: http://paletteforyourpalate.com/ where there are audio and video elements that take you deeper into the artistic process and creation. You can even download the recipes. Beautifully photographed and filmed it is a great treat for the eyes and the tongue if you make an item yourself or get to indulge at one of the participating locations that has an entry on its menu. Go on. Treat yourself to something gorgeous!
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