the alchemy of roses

Posted: March 7, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic
Tags: , , ,

the-guardianGlen Skien’s Mytho-Poetic Crow is the silent guardian at the window
roses-almost-readythe Mr Lincoln roses are nearly ready
iron mordantthis piece of iron called out from the park to come home & act as the mordant in the rose brew
channeling-Morticiachanneling Morticia Addams in the old 60’s TV show The Addams Family I cut the heads off all the red roses
Morticia Addamsisn’t this a wonderful 21st C world!
filling-the-rosebook-with-petalsthen filled the pages of the rose book with petals, stamens, sepals and leaves
rose-bookbound the book & paper bundles with rose stems, silk, flax & nettle string and wrapped the iron mordant with paper interfacing and linen thread
(NB this bit is totally intuitive I have no idea what I am doing ( it may well all turn to mush!)
just having a go after seeing  India Flint’s wonderful rose book a couple of years ago!)
bound books & mordantin the pot ready to add lukewarm water
just-add-waterand here’s what the pot looked like after being heated gently for 1 & 1/2 hours
cookedthe bundles are held down by a heavy glass mortar Eric of Dragonglass blew for me about 25 years ago
now it’s time to let it cool down overnight and have a look in the morning!

  1. dinahmow says:


  2. summertimes says:

    your pictures are beautiful.
    it’s like being a potter. making something so beautiful and then trusting it to the kiln
    i am sure it must be hard to put it in the water.

  3. margaret johnson says:

    Good luck Mo, hope it works out ok. I do know from making rosewater, you have to have a lot of petals and not much water to get colour. But the dying thing is a mystery. I have just recieved some green walnuts, to have another go. I put some vinegar with the water in a rusty pot and left it outside for a couple of weeks (with the one I did last year). Not sure what to do with this lot. I used to LOVE the Addams Family, what a great show that was!! Fingers crossed for your book!! ox

    • Mo Crow says:

      we shall see…have my eyes, toes, arms, and legs all x-ed & good luck with your walnut dyeing I love the bits you sent from the last go!

  4. Valerianna says:

    Good to see what’s brewing…. look forward to the results!

  5. deanna7trees says:

    oh it looks wonderful and must smell dreamy….can’t wait for the result.

    • Mo Crow says:

      the smell of the roses cooking and now standing til dawn is not as intoxicating as I had hoped Deanna! more like rose soup than the elixer I was dreaming of… will dry the restof the Mr Lincoln’s and stitch a couple of petals directly into Crow Book 3

  6. the dream of it is also bundled in…almost too exciting, yes. o, YES………waiting………..

    • Mo Crow says:

      Oh Grace it didn’t turn out anything like I dreamed although the interface wrapped around the iron thing and linen thread are pleasingly black! will see how it all looks as things dry will make a new post once the camera recharges…

  7. Carol says:

    Alchemy doesn’t come easily, I guess, Mo, but what a great post! Could smell the rose petals as I looked and read. I hope the book is better when dry but if not, onward and upwards! Back to the markets…

  8. Carol says:

    Oh, sorry! At least you have retained your sense of humour!

    • Mo Crow says:

      it’s going to be OK Carol, not what I expected but it will be something! visited Wayne Stock at the Old Chapel bookbinding studio and he was amazed that I threw the whole book bound into the hot water and left it there overnight and that I hadn’t undone the oriental side binding… that bound edge was never going to dry so I unbound it and have all the pages spread out all over the floor & now that it’s starting to dry there looks to be some quite lovely things going on!

please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.