Thursday, 9 July 2015

Busy Days


I have been really a busy bee lately.

There is so much to do in the garden. The weeds never seem to stop growing. Our little potager garden has been giving us a lot on our plates these days.

These garlic were a bit disappointing, I expected them to be bigger. So I have left a lot in the ground still. Maybe with some luck it can grow little bit more.

The potting shed is getting full slowly. Fresh herbs are nice to use now and these will be dry and ready to use in winter.

Remember the glass jar which was filled with marigold couple of weeks before to dye some samples in the sun. I am so pleased with the colour and think will make few more jars and leave it in the sun.

Every afternoon after dropping little Emily at her nursery, I am on my own, in silence, creating, this is something I love to do the most.

I am very happy how my work has developed in my studio. This year, I have been pushing myself a lot more to do more paintings. I am not going to show all of them now as I want them up at the exhibition first. The painting above is yet another one of my small canvases which I have completed.

Still a lot needs to be done before the exhibitions. In between I do need to distract myself with some crafty projects while sipping nice cup of tea. While I am waiting for paintings to dry before applying another layer (love working in layers) is the best time to pick up a slow stitching or knitting.

I cant think of knitting now with this temperature. Need to wait for that until Autumn now. Anyway the little piece of work which I did not long ago using my mothers sari and rust dyed fabric got another layer of rust dyed fabric too. It is interesting that like my paintings I keep on adding materials to my stitching too.

So, this is what it looks like now. This was my old (almost 4years) journal where I have lot more sari and other materials inside. I thought because I used more sari it might be best making it as a cover for that book/journal.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Natural Dyeing with Claire Wellesly Smith

This is a rather late, seriously late post from last year. Sorry didn't manage to post it then and completely forgot about it. After the Indigo workshop last weekend, I decided to post it even though it was so late.

So here it is finally. Better late than never. Anyway, Claire Wellesly Smith is a wonderful teacher and very talented. Claire even dyes her threads which she uses for slow stitching. Please check her website if you are interested in her work.

Claire demonstrated different dyeing techniques at Hope ad Elvis last year.

A brief introduction on Indigo dyeing was given too.

Samples of different dyes.

As usual, slowly table started getting full of samples. All the beautiful colours that can be achieved by eco dyeing. I really loved the workshop last year and this years indigo workshop with Claire (you can read about indigo dyeing in my previous post if you haven't yet).

Now I really hope to do some eco dyeing at home so better start collecting. During our visit to Spain in spring this year, I did collect few red eucalyptus leaves but not enough maybe.  I wonder if my colours will come out so fresh. The only thing I can say is wait and see. I am also reading a book on natural dyeing by India Flint called 'Eco Colour'.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Sweet Smell of Sweet Pea and Indigo

After a long gap, I finally managed to go to 'Hope and Elvis' this year. I love all the wonderful workshops Louise Presley has to offer. This weekend, I went for Indigo workshop. Claire Wellesley Smith whose work and practice is based on natural dyeing and stitching is a very talented artist and down to earth teacher. If you are interested in natural dyeing do have a look on her website and blog.

We were provided these little bundles of assorted fabric to try out different techniques and of
course the indigo dyed threads

Lots of samples of Claire's beautiful work was there

Love her simple yet powerful stitches.

And the indigo plant

which was chopped on the day to dye a sample piece of fabric.

 Variety of threads which Claire uses for her work was kindly provided for us to use as well.

Lots of different ways and techniques to treat your fabric before and after dyeing was demonstrated.

And we all dipped just not our sample pieces but many indigo hands were seen on that day.

By the end of the day, three washing line was packed with lovely indigo samples

Some of my pieces also slowly started going on the washing line and the day was perfect. A lovely sunny day for drying our indigo bits and bobs.

This was a sample which Claire brought with her to show how complicated some stitching can be in  done before dyeing.

I don't think though I am a person with lots of patience. I like to see the end result quickly. But the fun of indigo dyeing is you don't need to complicate your work too much. Simple stitches or no stitch can be used and still achieve nice results. You could also use many other little things to create a unique design.

Just look at this amazing bronzy indigo vat.

And the spoon. A real wow factor. Last year Claire did another natural dyeing workshop which I did go to but never actually managed to do a post on. A real apology for that but I will try and find the photographs and post it soon. We just had then a little intro on indigo dyeing and I knew straight away I wanted to do that. Louise Presley that's why I like coming to Hope and Elvis. Such nice workshops throughout the year. Given me a chance I would camp in front of Louise's workshop, haha.

Anyway, back home I lay most of my sample pieces on the table except one of the bags which was still a bit damp as it was dipped at the end almost.

I also ended up dyeing my little address book which I bought from Louise shop on the day in the Indigo vat including some of my Indian Khadi handmade papers.

Close up view and...

 My indigo bag on my washing line at home.

The sweet peas in the garden are just so beautiful now.

Spending time out in the garden with the sweet smell of sweet peas and honeysuckle which is drooping down from the swing chair and watching my tote bag drying in the sun at the end of the day was just divine.