Sunday, 3 August 2014

Natural Dye ~ the magic of creating colour from botanical materials {a workshop}

Lately I've gotten right back into my natural dye making, and it's making me happy and excited and eager to be at the dye pot as many days as I can. I'm stretching myself, and learning new things and discovering new colours. I'm also learning to take note and write it all down - not like my usual 'oh, I'll remember that..'. A dye journal - that's what I need to make happen.... perhaps tomorrow. 

All this new colour magic making has me wanting to share what I know and have learnt. Hence some upcoming Natural Dye workshops. Oh golly - I'm really excited about these. About gathering with people and seeing the look in their eyes when they make colour on fabric and yarn from simple plant materials. Oh yes, oh yes! It really is that much fun. It makes me sort of giggly sometimes... And I want to show everyone who comes nearby - though my family sort of doesn't have quite the same enthusiasm as other natural dyers would.. though they do try hard to be happy for me too.

So, I have an upcoming Natural Dye and Wearable Weaving workshop as part of the gather :: create events I'm co-hosting with Leah. It's about spending time discovering the beauty of creativity within the little nuances of exploration.
Taking garden, kitchen and road-side findings we will create some magic in the dye pots and discover the joy of dyeing fabrics and threads with the natural alchemy of botanical colours. I enjoy using hot and cold dye methods to create colour, and delight in the finished cloth. My easy to learn ways of working with natural plant dyes is something you can take home and continue experimenting with to create your own colours and variations of patterns.

After a full morning (well, half a day) of working with the colour pots and turning white fabric and yarn into a rainbow of hues, we will take those threads and weave ourselves a pretty wearable neckpiece. I am a self-taught weaving, drawing upon my childhood memories of weaving as my source of inspiration, and can't wait to share these easy workable ways of taking scraps and threads of fabric and making an art work for your wall or to adorn your body. I prefer to work with a flexible approach to my making, to discovering what can be done and not having to follow rules - to make up my own way of working. To share this way of making with you will be an honour - to help you tap into your own innate sense of creating is what our gather :: create events are about.

Natural plant dye is about more than just making colour on cloth, it's about the environmental aspect of our clothing and our textiles. It's about thinking about how our fabrics are made, and where our colours come from. It's about learning to appreciate the beauty in the softer colour palette, or how to up the colour hue with some simple modifyers. Natural plant dyes seem to always fit together as a range - with a beautiful way of melding and colours flowing into each other. The process develops patterns on the fabric that are often not easily replicated, and to be enjoyed for their one-off amazingness.

Our day will also involve delicious and beautiful food, as well as new friend making, and interesting conversations. To connect with other makers is such an important part of being a creative, and to be able to share a journey of learning and making alongside others brings a sense of togetherness in a unique way. 
We have one workshop in Melbourne and one in Brisbane. (click those links for details and booking info). 


  1. These pictures are so incredibly beautiful...I would love to attend one of your workshops one day xx

    1. Hey Zanni,
      Thanks so much - yes beautiful colours aren't they.
      I hope to hold some workshops around this area... maybe not until after the baby and we've settled in with that!


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