Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Eco Dyeing with Nat

As part of Botanique I participated in a two day ecodying workshop run by artist Natalie Billing. This has been on my bucket list for ages but other opportunities were never quite right. Nat is a great teacher and does lovely work in this medium. Take a look at her web and Facebook pages.

We ecodyed with red cabbage and eucalypt leaves as the two brews and used leaves, flowers and fruit of various species (more eucalypt, grevillea, paperbark) as "stencils". Red and brown onion leaves and red carrot provided additional colour.  We used watercolour paper and some gorgeous natural fabric - raw silk, fine wool jersey and silk georgette, secured the bundles tightly and into the pot they went.

And out came the paper

And then the fabric
 Raw silk with purple carrot
 Raw silk from a eucalypt brew

Wool jersey from two different bundles in a eucalypt brew.
I love the idea that I am using natural plant matter to get these beautiful colours and impressions.
Two important lessons from the workshop.
1. Take notes as you work - you may think you'll remember later... you won't (and I don't)
2. Open minds for opening bundles. Don't open your bundle with any preconceptions. You will invariably be disappointed with a beautiful piece - simply because it didn't do what you expected it to. 
I've now ordered the ecodyeing "bible" - Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles by India Flint.


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