Eco Dying Workshop
As an artist, I always loving learning new techniques & worndering how I might be able to incorporate them into my own art. After seeing an Eco Dying workshop in a neighbouring room whilst teaching at Denman WI College earlier this year, I booked to do a shorter, one day workshop at Ardington School of Arts with the same tutor, Sue Pearl.
Eco Dying is a fascinating art with some surprising (but often unpredictable) results. It is the process of taking natural plant materials, dipping them in a mordent & placing them onto a piece of cloth.. The cloth is then rolled around a piece of plastic pipe, covered in plastic, tied up & boiled in water for approximately 40 mins to allow the mordent work it's magic on the plant materials. Once cooked, the parcels are unwrapped & rinsed to remove the leaves & flowers, leaving behind the dyed markings.
During the course, we experimented with different mordents, differnt plant materials & a variety of fabrics to decide which results we liked best (copious ammounts of not taking to remember which combinations had been used!), before designing our final piece, in the form of a silk scarf.
Some plant materials work best with a specific mordent, & the results can produce colours from yellow & pale greends, through oranges & reds to purples, blues & blacks. I found that the Beech Leaves worked particularly well, whilst pomegranate & sharon fruit gave less impressive results.
Hopefully one day I'll have time to put these new found skills into practice & dye my own textiles for use in my sculptures...
For more information about Sue Pearl's workshops, please visit her website www.feltbetter.com