Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dyeing, Nature, bundles and embroidery!

I have been having a lot of fun lately learning all about the flowers, plants and trees in  my area. You all know the reason why..can l dye with them? I have learnt so much from India about how to go about using Nature safely. I have started a sort of diary of what is around me, l then take a photo, check it on google and write all the details down. Then when l have dyed with will go the sample.  I have also talked to the Florists around me and they give me their waste when ever l ask for it and also l get onion skins from the Supermarket. It is not often you say you get something free from Sainsburies!Ha
I bring my "hoard" home and then put it into bags until l use it.
Tonight l did some dyeing. Silk for the first bundle...which consists of different coloured roses, rose leaves, plum leaves and fuchsia's.  

 Next bundle is cotton..consisting of large daisies, purple poppies and red and yellow rose petals.

Next bundle was a net bag which l put pink and red roses and rose buds inside and then wrapped up bag with yellow onion skins.

 The first five bundles waiting to go into the pot.
A piece of old cotton pillow case bundle...all rose petals. The pink petals with the yellow tips are so beautiful.
This parcel wrapped up with wool that l had dyed on my Course last week. It was dyed with madder, see last blog entry.
 Loads of odds and sods from florist bundled up in very thin cotton.
Wrapped up into a bundle using rope, Sycamore seeds that are green and pale pink and rose leaves.
A long piece of white cotton that l did not like from last time it was dyed, so over dyed using plum  leaves to see what happens!
Here are a few more embroideried pieces of Eco dyed silk. I take my inspirations from nature, such as tree bark, landscapes or flowers.

Sometimes l like to work the stitches very close together to give the surface depth and character. Other times l like to make one line stitches to simplify the area and clarify what l am doing. I am not sure who actually decides what happens next me or the cloth!
This is the next piece l am working on, which is three pieces of silk worked together and still growing. I wanted to combine pieces together and see where that takes the work.

 More magic taking place..these are the bundles l have just been talking about....

 Now off to see how best to use these gorgeous blue flowers.
Oh before l go wanted to show you the images l took of bees yesterday...they were every where..amazing insects and l just love them...The first one is not brillant but l rather like it.

 Does any one know what these are called~?
Thought l would also show you the sort of things that inspire my embroidery work as l talk about it earlier. Hope you enjoy what you see..!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

An amazing day of Dyeing and learning

On Saturday l went to an amazing workshop on Natural Dying with a group called Bricolage Textile Collective. Read about them below.

Bricolage is a textile collective specialising in contemporary bespoke textiles for interiors, and we are all graduates of the Chelsea College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London.
Our collective expertise covers a variety of traditional and innovative textile skills, including screen-printed wallpapers and textiles; hand and machine knit; crochet and up cycled quilting. We share an aesthetic which favours a bold use of colour, an appreciation for traditional craft skills and the use of sustainable materials and processes.
As individuals, we all work to commission with each client on bespoke designs or sell a small range of ‘off the shelf’ products. We are also open to commissions as a collective.
Our shared studio space/showroom in east London acts like a creative laboratory developing our individual making skills whilst also supporting our collaborative practice together and across other design disciplines. Think part work-space, part café, part blue-sky dream space!
We are also passionate about passing on our textile skill and knowledge and have developed a series of workshops in creative textile recycling and other craft techniques.

The two artists involved in this weekend workshop were Clara and Katherine and to-day's course was run by the fantastic artist Claire Wellesley-Smith. This was actually Part 2 of a 3 weekend course. The first was about Block printing, today was 2nd part and next weekend Sat 23rd May ( 11-4pm) will the final bit of the course Quilting. It was possible to take whole course or just one day. It was an amazing day and l wish l could have done all 3.
Here is how the day went. Enjoy.
The course was held in Bermondsey Village hall in SE1...yes a village hall in the middle of Central London..( by London Bridge) amazing place.

As an ex RAF daughter and an ex-Army wife the sight of Chinooks flying over and over the venue was amazing. Love the sound of these machines.

Clare the tutor, ( was such an interesting and talented artist and a joy to learn from. She told us some History about Natural Dyeing and a few very funny stories and put us all in the mood to learn. I must admit l could have sat and listened to her for hours..really interesting stuff. I will be off too the Libary first thing on monday.
Get ready to Dye......

We had discusstions on which materials were naturally dyed or Acid dyes and why we thought that and so much more.
The course included a bundle of interesting materials foe each student and there was also a heap of other materials supplied by the Bricolage, for us to try if we wanted to.
Getting started....
The three dyes we were going to be learning about today were Madder, Indigo and Weld.
The first dye l will deal with is Indigo.

In goes the wrapped or in this case..clamped cloth..into the blue dye......

Out comes the "bundle"
The exciting.
My piece which resulted in this please with this first result.

Um...needless to say..these are my hands. Well l find it hard to work in gloves.

More work in progress.

This the Madder dye bath. Madder is from the roots of the plant, Nature is so amazing.
Leave to soak in dye for a while, then hang out on line to dry. We were so lucky with the weather, it was a blue sky, sunshine and happiness day!

This came from the Weld, which l seem not to have taken an image of boiling in it's! This is the  dye the colour Kharki comes from.

More Indigo dyeing.

This is cotton NOT paper.

Just incase you do not know about is an image demonstration. First wet your material and put into dye bath. The liquid in the tub is covered with cling-film so it is NOT exposed to the air. Move the film and dip material into dye bath. Hold it there for as long as you want then lift out a GREEN coloured material and watch it slowly turn, turquoise, green and then blue, as it makes contact with the air!


Then we were given a surprise dye bath to try..Elderberry..gorgeous.
Show and Tell time. Everybodies work was amazing and so many different designs, shades and colours.

This made me giggle but at the same time l understaood why Claire bought "Northern" water with her. Our water may give a different result from what she is used to. When teaching, unlike when being an Artist, surprises you do not want!
Know this is not about the day..but l do love my new shoes!
A very tired but VERY happy Lynda.

Thanks everyone who was involved in the day for making it such a great experience and l hope we keep in contactxlynda