עקי�"ת יצחק - The Binding Of Isaac
TheBinding of Isaac is a four-cornered shawl of German flannel, dyed twicewith the blood of a ram and left to cure for ten months. The hand-sewnbinding is ressurrected golden military dead-stock satin, and hastwined and knotted tzitzit [tassles] attached to its four corners with613 tight knots.
Shot at will by Marino Thorlacius in Iceland. Isaac in this image is portrayed by Arash Afrazadeh.
Notes from a longer file: [creating an organic dye compound or technique from blood, a by-product of the meat industry]
Experiment Five - Pure and Undiluted Ram Blood in a Bowl of Steel. To the Music of Sam Amidon.
It is 11 45, Sunday November 1. Experiment in dying fabric with blood continues in its fifth incarnation.
Lengths of fabric [300 cm long/50 cm width, incurved at centre] areagain soaked in water and sodium bicarbonate to further soften thealready soft Icelandic water and increase the absorption of the bloodto the cotton. Fabric removed from solution after five minutes andwrung. Fabric hand kneaded directly into large container of rams’blood and weighted down. Sodium Chloride added.
Tuesday 3 November 18 30- Removed from putrefied blood and rolled out on black plastic to dryflat. I am wearing a full zip up suit with mask. It is hard tobreathe. My body reacts in a way I have never experienced before -this smell... has awakened an ancient reflex action of fear primaeval.I jerk at a hot instinct to turn and run. But this brief white panicsubsides as I remember it is a container of blood put there by my ownhand... not the remains of some other soul. An intense and uniquemoment.
On another note Paula E. Burch, Ph.D. has replied. I wrote of the success from cooking the blood into thefabric. She had thought that heat would denature the proteins in theblood and as they lost their shape they would tangle around the othermolecules of denatured protein already in the fabric.
It is Thursday at 20 00 andthe lengths are still not dry enough... The moisture in the blood won’tevaporate in these close quarters. So I proceed to drape them over awater oven. note: Air drying is the best solution still as laying iton the ground inhibits drying and affects the blood stain on thedownside of the material.
With the fabric ready to beheat-cured I am preheating the oven to 50°C and placing the dried androlled material therein. It is 16 50, Friday 7th. Now increasing the heat to 70°C at 18 00. Removing material at 19 00 to test, then returning to heat. Left till 20 00.
It is 08 11 08 - 10 30, a Saturday,but no day of rest. Numerous days of test. The first lengths arequoined and washed by hand to the music of Françoiz Breut. A solutionof ice water is prepared with the previous units of sodium bicarbonate.The fabric is weighted down and soaking occurs for 10 minutes, withlittle movement of textile in process. Slight kneading to removeexcess protein. It is very cold. The lengths are taken to thebasement drying room to dry flat.
Experiment Five Continuation - Second Dying with Blood
It is Monday 15th December. There is snow. I repeat the same process of pre-soaking the lengths inthe sodium bicarbonate and water solution. Placing them in the blood,weighting, and leaving.
17 12 08 - It has beentwo days. After removing the scarves from the blood they are taken todry flat in cold room for the day. The blood has putrefied. It is atitanic and powerful funk. The five floors of the building haveevacuated while it airs out. Apologies are presented.
20 12 08 -Again the material is not drying completely in the cold. The fabric ismoved to dry in a warmer room for two days. I have to tread lightlyafter disrupting the lives of the other tenants. It has been days andthe communal doors are still open. The women and children havereturned. The men are not angry, just dissapointed.
22 12 08 - The material is rolled up and taken up to the ovens to be re-baked for three hours at 90°C. I am tired.
29 12 08 -Solution prepared: A. one tub of water. B. added soda ashe [sodiumbicarbonate], sodium chloride, and quaternary ammonium compound forantibacterial and softening. The lengths are left for 25 minutes tosoak and clean. At the 15 minute interval the fabric is unravelled,turned and slightly kneaded and left again for 10 minutes. At thistime a good softness and handle are achieved with no trace of odour. Material once more left in dry room on black plastic to dry. Itappears I am coming to the end of my experiment.
31 12 08 -The colour has remained in the textile, now dry, though it has adopteda greenish hue vastly different to the deep orange tone of the freshblood. It seems almost tie-dyed in its variation. It is very unique. Visceral.
Having dried fully, the lengths of fabric are now measured at 253 cm x 45 cm
It has been two and a half months. Today is February 15. The lengthsof fabric, now scarves, have cured for some time and are ready to befinished. The lengths of fabric are taken to the studio to be bound byhand with the golden satin that we bought from the quartermaster. Thisis old fabric, dead-stock left from the 2nd world war when it was usedfor the lining of the soldiers jackets. Beautiful. The mitred cornersare special. The fringes, having undergone the same process as thefabric, are now tied to each of the four corners and knotted 613 times.
The completed scarves are set aside to cure for a total of 10 and half months.