More Blues

I’m busy getting ready for the first of the two three day mud resist workshop this weekend and so I’ve had to put my work on hold for a few days. Cotton is being scoured, menus planned, blocks oiled,  dabu ingredients are ready for mixing.

I’m looking forward to this weekend as there will be a couple of familiar faces from previous workshops as well as a few new ones. Though there is a good number for the August bank holiday The September course on the 6th, 7th and 8th still has spaces left, and so please get in touch if you are tempted.

Dan has been busy experimenting with bread recipes, as well as making some new printing blocks which look really promising. We are so lucky to live between Coleshill Organics where we buy the fruit and vegetables we don’t grow and Factory Furniture who very kindly give me offcuts of wood for blocks.



5 thoughts on “More Blues

  1. Janet Croome

    Hi Alex,

    Lovely to see more pics of the dabu printing – just wish I could come on another course but it will have to wait another year as a new hip is scheduled for September – so roll on 2015.

    A couple of block questions now – what do you oil yours with ? I am guessing something like teak oil and overnight, or longer ? I wonder if Factory Furniture would be willing to sell us some wood offcuts to make blocks with ? I have a lot of designs drawn up but sourcing the right sort of wood in Cornwall is far from easy. What do you think ? We will be coming up to Gloucestershire in a couple of months so could call in, if they are agreeable?

    Dan’s wonderful bread recipes have gone down so well that we now use them all the time !

    I am trying to get a vat going using your indigo recipe but we have the plumber and decorator with us and it is impossible to even think about doing anything – and the weather has gone very cold and windy too which is such a nuisance. Michel Garcia has so many interesting themes on his indigo vats – but I think he lives in hotter climes than we do which makes life easier. Oh, I made some dabu mud and kept it for about 3 weeks ( well sealed) and it worked very well ! How long do you think it will keep ?

    Enjoy the next dabu courses and I hope you have brilliant weather too.

    Love Janet


    1. alex madden Post author

      Sorry to hear about your hip though it doesn’t seem to be quashing your enthusiasm! We use linseed oil in a ratio of 2-1 with white spirit to soak the blocks as teak oil would leave a residue, and yes soak overnight or longer. I was told 2 weeks in India. Not sure about wood for blocks. The boss is away at the moment so I will talk when he comes back.

      As far as the dabu, this recipe seems to last for a few months. I used some I mixed in September this Spring and it seemed fine.
      having been forgotten about and left in the garage over the winter.

      Hope to see you on another workshop. I have plans to take the block printing and mud in a new direction and will keep you posted.


      1. Janet Croome

        Hi Alex, Wow ! Your Japanese Indigo colour is just stunning !! Well done you ! I should love to come on the workshop next year in August so hope to hear more about it next year. Many thanks too for the info on oiling the blocks – yet to be made but I do hope your chap will be willing to sell me some offcuts. I have a lot of designs worked out so we are part way there, but it is boat building down here so the wood is unsuitable. I have the dvd by Michel Garcia and it is absolutely fascinating – what a nice chap ! He makes it all look SO simple !
        Thinking about the gum arabic, do you find it makes any difference whether it is premixed with water or added as dry powder ? Just wondering that is all ?
        Love Janet


  2. elizabeth

    Oh how I wish I was able to get down to join in the fun!! Hopefully before too long should be able to return(crossing fingers as I speak)…

    Had a lovely three days with Jane at Harlow Carr – and should be seeing Juliet at end of September so we’ll talk about returning then no doubt!

    Alex – still need to know what to do with this year’s indigo leaves as I’d love to try them. As mentioned earlier, have done lots more dyeing since we had our weekend – so inspirational…

    Will it be possible to post info re above when you have finished these coming weekends -on your blog?

    Love, Liz -from a grey and wet Yorks! X

    Sent from my iPad




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