Friday, August 17, 2012

Treading Lightly

This week I ran an Eco-dyeing on Paper workshop with 10 enthusastic ladies (plus my always helpful Mum, Jan).

I had 3 pots of 'brew' going throughout the day, and thanks to my bike rides in the Woodford forest the previous Sunday, I had collected plenty of leaves.  All of the leaves were picked from the ground or were on branches that had fallen.  Lucky for me the August westerly winds had provided me with plenty of fresh leaf matter.

At the workshop, we spent the first part of the day creating samplers using the different dye pots, then everyone made a large concertina book (snake format) using the Raines Watercolour Paper.  Experiments were made using different leaves, onion skins, strawberries, grapes, and metal.  I had 2 stainless steel pots and an aluminium pot, with the addition of iron and, in some brews, alum.  This created some varied and interesting results.  I just hope everyone took my advice and documented their experiments as they proceeded, this is really important if you want to replicate your favourite effects or learn what doesn't work.

Once again I acknowledge India Flint, its been 2 years since I did her workshop and I'm still enjoying and exploring the concepts she shared then.  I highly recommend her book EcoColour.  Its full of information and inspiration, I hope everyone who reads it gets a sense of what eco-dyeing really is and the spirit behind it.  Remember, WINDFALL and MINDFULLNESS. 

If you're interested in joining me on an Eco-dyeing on Paper adventure, please submit your name to my mailing list via my website

Some of the results - a beautiful snake format concertina book,
eco-dyed with leaves, onion skins, metal and other goodies

Leaves and onion skins on paper,
beautiful marks created by nature

These ecodyed samplers looked beautiful in the sun

Opening the bundles after dyeing,
joy, intrigue, 'not what I expected'....
but expect the unexpected when dealing with nature!

The 3 pots of 'brew' simmering and stewing...
Bundles ready to go into the pots,
a work of art itself
'Look at what we did today'!