I’ve just spent a warm, sunny weekend, in good company, teaching and experimenting with various papers, plants and potions.
The first day of the workshop involved folding stitching and bundling various papers and fabrics with vegetation from the kitchen and garden. The bundles were then simmered and most left to steep overnight. Other papers were prepared for the following day.
The results were some colourful pages and some lovely strong prints from leaves and flowers. We all made discoveries and gained inspiration for future work.
On the second day papers were steamed and more prints revealed. Dan kept us supplied with lots of refreshments and provided a feast of home made focacia breads to go with our lunch of soup, hummus, harissa and salad.
After lunch paper pages and pockets were stitched together to make books.
At the end of a lovely weekend, everybody went away with their individual books and pieces of silk and cotton. I think a good weekend was had by all.
This week I have been busy designing a new website for my friend Denny Andrews. She sells clothes made largely from block printed and vegetable dyed fabrics from India. (I will write more about this another time). During breaks from the laptop I have been stitching books and a map Though the map idea is still in it’s very early stages I hope to develop it into a textile project
open rust book
inside rust book
As soon as I can I want to experiment with different resist techniques on some new fabrics. I have been looking into ecological sources, and organic hemp seems to be one of the best as it uses far less land and water to grow and process than cotton. Yesterday I ordered some organic hemp jersey and hemp silk woven fabric to experiment with from the hemp shop. I’m quite excited about trying these for mud resist and indigo and some itajimi (clamp resist) with leaf printing. It will be great to offer students who want to upgrade from basic cotton to these fabrics and I should be able to offer them at cost.
There has been lots of interest in this years workshops and bookings and deposits are arriving daily. I am grateful to my friend Jane Meredith for mentioning my workshops on her website. She runs plant dyed wool workshops at her wonderful riverside haven in Herefordshire. If you like natural dyeing and wool you should look her up.
A lovely Autumn day and I have been taking photographs. Here is my prototype of the Chinese folded thread book.
This could be the final outcome of the 3 day Bundling and Books workshop. It was a lovely thing to make even in newspaper and everyone could make their own very personal book using their lovely bundled papers and stitch or glue it all together.
It will have lots of compartments to put notes and the threads and string which get dyed along the way. We will also aim to make a fabric cover which will also be stitched and dyed during the workshop. Now I just have to find the right materials and make sure this is all possible in 3 days.