30 April 2015

retreat | recreate

So, the exciting news? I am hosting a women's creative [textile] arts retreat in beautiful Ubud, Bali.


Bali Wellness Retreat (8)

Details are at retreat|recreate if you would like to take a look!

Yoga Resort in Ubud (13)

20 April 2015

pottery!

I told you I am doing a pottery course, right? It's a ten week beginner course, and then you can just pay for another ten sessions and keep turning up to the studio. It's kind of addictive and oh so satisfying EATING OFF YOUR OWN HANDMADE PLATE.

Breakfast on a handmade plate

Let the long Easter weekend commence! Shop-bought hot cross bun on a homemade plate.

Here's another slab plate, ready to glaze. I ended up glazing this in a simple white with a sparkle effect. I have no idea what it will look like (classy? naff?) as it takes a few weeks for the teacher to fill the [enormous] kiln and fire all our pieces.

Slab plate ready for glazing

This little pear was made on day one when we learnt to make pinch pots. Or in our case, pinch pears. That crackle glaze is a lot of fun. The bottom part of the pear is matte black, but the proportions aren't quite right - I wish I'd made the black just a skerrick higher.

Pinch pear with crackle glaze from pottery class no 1. Looks more accomplished with a b&w filter.

And finally, my first wheel-thrown pots. (Embrace the wonk is my mantra). These are little tumblers which have since been underglazed with mismatching pale blue bands. Again, they are yet to be fired so I'm not sure how they'll turn out, but that's half the fun.

First wheel thrown pots!

Continuing my year of doing stuff that's fun, on the weekend I went to a fantastic indigo and shibori workshop. Photos to come when I am home in daylight hours to take some decent shots, but in the meantime here's a little instagram photo of some of our sample pieces laid out on the table.

Shibori on indigo with @bekindtextiles at @handmakersfactory

I have some exciting news to share. Some of you may have already seen it on Instagram or facebook, but it needs its own post rather than being plonked here. Sorry to be such a tease! I'll be back with a big announcement soon.

2 April 2015

dyeing experiments

Natural dye workshop with strawberries #naturaldyeing

Some years ago I was a member of the Natural Dye Group at the Plant Craft Cottage (at Melbourne's Botanic Gardens). I think I talked about it here on the blog although I can't find it. Since then I've done a smattering of natural dyeing at home, plus a whole shipload of acid dyeing, Kool Aid dyeing (thank you American dealers friends) and food colouring dyeing. My most popular post still is this one - it continues to get hundreds of hits from people keen to learn how to dye yarn safely with small people milling around.

Anyway then I went back to work full time and blah blah blah everything fell to pot. Except my bank balance, so you know, swings and roundabouts.

Well this year I kind of made the resolution that this will be my year of doing more stuff I love. Including dyeing and dancing and learning new things (more of that next post. I have POTTERY to show you, people. POTTERY).

So, I took a natural dye class a couple of months ago to refresh myself and give me a kickstart back into it.

Strawberry natural dyeing. Clockwise from top: copper iron aluminium solar #naturaldyeing
Natural dye class with I Am Alchemy.

Since then I've been going crazy. Mostly solar dyeing with the occasional foray into the kitchen for stovetop dyeing. Solar dyeing is the perfect methodology for dyeing if you work full time. (I sound like an advertisement. Dyeing for busy mothers and career women!) You whack a few things into a jar on the weekend and leave it in the garden for a few weeks. Easy.

Solar dyeing coming along nicely one week later. Tumeric, ivy, raspberry, tea. Not shown (in steel pot) - strawberry.
Tumeric, ivy, raspberry, tea. Mordanted with vinegar.

Solar dyeing results: tumeric, raspberry, ivy, red cabbage, strawberry.
Tumeric, raspberry, ivy, red cabbage, strawberry.

Blueberry, raspberry, red cabbage #solardyeing #naturaldyes #naturaldyeing #dyeing #yarn
Blueberry, raspberry, red cabbage.

Solar dyeing: red cabbage, tea, raspberry.
Red cabbage, tea, raspberry.

Solar dyeing: blueberry, logwood, madder.
Blueberry, logwood, madder. Mordanted with vinegar.


Red cabbage dyed wool yarn: left = solar dyed, right = stovetop dyed. Both mordanted with vinegar.
Red cabbage. Left solar dyed, right stove top. Both mordanted with vinegar.

Madder, logwood, blueberry.
Madder, logwood, blueberry.

Tending three new dyepots this morning before work
This week's experiments: Black bean, logwood exhaust, carrot tops. All pre-mordanted with alum
.

Three skeins of hand dyed sock yarn. Nailed the variegated soft pink I was after.
Kool Aid dyeing! Fingering weight yarn which is on its way to becoming a cardigan for me after the woman who expressed interest in me dyeing it for her decided $25 per skein is waaay too expensive. Ahem, take a look at etsy, ma'am, you'll see many hand dyed skeins for $32 per a skein
.

My collection of naturally dyed yarns grows
The beginnings of a beautiful naturally dyed collection, hooray!.

What to do with lots of little 50g balls of dyed yarn? Dig out your loom and get weaving of course.