Re: home brewed dyes

From: amanda christie (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Feb 19 2006 - 16:07:10 PST

I've tried a bunch of stuff out of dire necessity
once... some things worked, some didn't.
it's a funny story

I was commissioned to do an experimental super8 film
for the Halifax Experimental music festival... I tried
something wacky in my darkroom and wiped the whole
image off by accident... I called the co-op to say
"umm sorry guys, i ruined my film and can't give it to
you"... they said "no dice.. you're in the program,
you have to give us something"... so i went into my
kitchen and grabbed anything i could think of that
might "stain" film (the title of the film was
'stained')... i made a bunch of baths in tupperware
dishes... to make it interesting i grabbed some
polysporin from my first aid kit (i'd heard of people
using vaseline, but i didn't have any, so i figured
polysporin would do the trick, and it did)... and i
made a bunch of goopy polysporin patterns on the
fillm... then put different bits of film in different
baths... then after a few hours, i'd take it out, and
squish the polysporin around into different patterns,
and switch the baths... i repeated several times...
this gave a kinda wacky tie-dyed or batik look to the
film... some things stained/dyed better than others...
i put inky finger prints on the parts that bored me
when i was done with the baths.

because it was a rush/panic kinda job, i didn't log
everything, and it was a few years ago... but from
what i can remember....

beet juice
red wine
black tea
green tea

curry and tumeric
(i thought since they dyed my fingers everytime i
cooked with them that it might dye my film... i just
mixed some curry powder in water and soaked the film,
but no luck - same results with tumeric)

on another note, aside from dyeing....

i've heard that you can also bake your film in the
oven.... but don't leave it alone... use low heat and
watch it carefully... also, don't do this if you plan
on projecting it as it will warp the pitch of the
film, and the sprocket holes won't line up for
projection... only do this if you intend to contact
print or optically print the film to a clean
version... same goes for lighting your film on fire.

have fun!

amanda christie
vancouver, bc, canada


Find your next car at

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.