Monday, November 9

eco-dyeing workshop with India Flint

What a glorious day it was! A whole day to learn something new, be creative and FINISH a project. What more can you ask of a workshop?

Toss in a bunch of lovely women in a stunning location and a charismatic and thorougly knowledgeable teacher (not to mention her lovely silver teapot and a pair of scissors that transported me back to childhood with their unmistakable sturdy slicing sound when put to work on a piece of fabric) and you've got a day well worth it and then some. We started with a silk sampler which turned out lovely especially when viewed all together.

Throughout the day we collected windfall for dyeing, we scratched, we pulled, we cut, we rolled, we placed, we talked, we washed, we stuffed, we stitched, we tossed, we ate, we wrapped and we beat, we washed again. We boiled. We cut.

Silk gauze was interned with embellishments of raw sheep wool, silk thread, silk organza and and silk velvet.

Simply luxurious stuff, all topped off with woollen prefelt then rolled, washed, scrubbed and had the living daylights beaten out of it until felting occourred or your back gave way. This was then sliced to one continuous sliver and bound on a stick; windfall leaves and petals from the garden were included in the bind along with some rusted metals found by the Bloke on a camping trip to the Murray.
The wrapped fabric was bound tight with cord and immersed in a bath of boiling bark tea.

The excitement we all felt at unravelling our creations, well you'll have to take my word for it, my camera died at that point. This detail below is my favourite, its muted and soft and the impression print is a frond from a pine
The piece is soft and pretty and the colours and impressions are really lovely and offerred up by nature. Im looking forward to experimenting some more.

The Bloke in his usual style declared it a masterpiece resembling a fur ball but like me, appreciates the details. Such a simple and honest transformation. I love it.


Michele at A House Called Nut said...

Oooh, I want to try dyeing one day! It's amazing what you can do with natural dyes and found odds and ends! So nice too that you documented the whole process on film.

Katy said...

How cool does that look - looks like a great day in a beautiful placex

iNdi@ said...

glad you had fun, me dear
wishing i still looked seventeen
instead of just feeling that way on the inside...

Julie said...

I wish I could see and touch it IRL, it looks so wonderfully rich and tactile. Looks kinda like unwashed sheep fleece in the pics (not a bad thing) which is obviously a limitation of trying to photo something so organic and lovely... Sounds like awesome fun.

Annuska said...

It looks amazing. Such an 'ancient' process- fantastic!
I love the colours and would love to touch it!

Annuska said...

It looks amazing. Such an 'ancient' process- fantastic!
I love the colours and would love to touch it!

Karin said...

Wow, what fun! It looks like a great effort. I love it. :-)

Laura Jane said...

MMMM, yummy! What a gorgeous way to spend the day, a little creative and natural oasis.

A furball. Thuh!

Kelly said...

michelle- it was an incredibly pocess. very rewarding too.

katy-it was! i recommend it

iNdi@- i had a lovely day. thanks. ah, that old chestnut, i love that top pic of you! great plait. why do ya think i dont post many pics of myself...

julie- its gourmet unwashed sheep fleece! its really soft and light. im looking forward to dyeing some silk olds this way.

annuska-next time you drop by I'll give ya a feel!

karin- thanks. me too! i gained loads of confidence that a book just couldnt have taught.

laurajane- yup, spot on. my kinda heaven. yeah furball, Thuh! but it does slightly resemble a dead