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.