April 17, 2015

Eco-Dye Workshop

My daughter Kitiya is a member of Sundae Craft. This is a group of young creative crafters in Melbourne. The Sundae Craft meets monthly, and each month each member shares their expertise and teaches the rest of the group their skills. Kitiya told me that everyone in Sundae Craft would love to learn eco-dyeing, and if I wouldn't mind teaching them. I was thrilled to get asked by these young upcoming creative crafters and artists. I have been thinking of how best to deliver my eco-dye method to them more effectively. I have been teaching many things both for fees and for free!

In the end I came up with an activity that would give the students some instant results, but also one that would engage them after the session. I told them in my introduction that they will not learn to dye just in one workshop. I have been dyeing using natural, eco and synthetic dyes for over 10 years, but I can't say I'm an expert in any of them. It's very much a trial and error process in dyeing. You have to have a curious mind and be willing to try everything. I also told the group that they are lucky to be in Australia with their backyard full of dyeable plants. The world envies us for that!

I show them both the bundle and jar dyeing methods. They took the jars away with them after dyeing. Kitiya told me they will open them next time the Sundae Craft group meets. How exciting will that be!

The above photo is the table setting I got ready for them. I've got a few jars that I dyed in Canberra with DIL. I have gathered both fresh and dried leaves for them ready to roll.

I have a perfect setting for outdoor workshops. I strung a line around the deck and hung some samples of the dyed fabric on it. The effect was eye catching when you enter it from the back gate.

I introduced the workshop by telling them that this was the first proper ecodyeing workshop I have ever given. I opened a couple of my jars and showed them how to start. The table wasn't large enough for 11 people so I split them up into two groups. The second group observed and planned their own bundles while watching.  

They bundled their first batch and while the bundles were cooking/steaming they prepared the next bundles for jars dyeing. I got them to open their first bundles together in the workshop. Above are some samples of their pieces. I think they were wrapped with the results! I'm so pleased with how the workshop went and I hope that some of them will take up dyeing and develop their interest in it further.  

Part of my stitching on Furoshiki cloth.

Journal cover for my upcoming around-the-world trip.

Rusty corner got the love in the Tree House Studio.

 April's Stitching with friends, Jacky and Mary.

Lucky Find:

To tell you the truth, since I moved my studio into the Tree House I got rid of lots of things I couldn't find a home for in there. I also stopped going to op-shops to discourage myself from buying any more stuff! But, big BUT, last Saturday after "stitching with friends" session ended Jacky and I walked pass a Salvo op-shop and I spotted the dark case (bottom one) that I just had to have! The stack now is complete (for now!). Being an expat most of my life things like cases or travel goods are one of my passions! 

I hope everyone is well and keeping creative and happy. It's another busy weekend ahead for me! I love it!

Until next time


susis quilts said...

dear nat ,i just love your journal cover,happy weekend,susi

deanna7trees said...

nice that you are starting some young folks into the eco-dyeing adventure. i know they must all be inspired now to do some on their own. have a great weekend.

Needled Mom said...

I wish I could have been in that class with the other students. It looks like it was such fun and the results are wonderful.

I love your trip journal cover and that beautiful stitching you are doing.

Enjoy the busy weekend. xo

Yoga said...

Natima, congratulations for taking a step forward! Sharing your skills with young people is a noble thing to do. Welcome to the teachers' group! You will never feel lonely as a senior!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Good on you Nat for sharing your knowledge in this craft!

Els said...

Lovely to see your (daughter's) workshop
(Ohhh, it doesn't really look like autumn yet ...)
Hi, hi, hi, your dye pots just look like pots of fine marmelades and jam !!
Your studio looks great and your journal for the great trip is gorgeous
(ha, Nat, hope to see it in person !)

apiecefullife said...

I was just thinking I wanted a small case like that to "sort" one of my hobbies. Went to a couple of op-shops without success, this time.
Your stack looks lovely.

Heather said...

What a great class you offered! It's so exciting to be able to give such an experience to young people. You sure have been busy - hope your upcoming trip is wonderful.

Joanna said...

Nat, I just discovered your blog and it's so inspiring to someone as new to eco-dyeing as I am. You're right about Australia being THE place for a great variety of plants for dyeing. I'm in Oregon (the NW part of the US), and sadly, we have no eucalyptus. I know it grows south of here, in California, so maybe I can find someone there to send me some! Thanks for the eye-candy and inspiration!

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