Sunday 11 November 2018

Eco dye course Sunday 18th November

My last eco dye course will be this coming Sunday the 18th November on the Northern Beaches, Sydney. Just in time for some original creativity before that gift giving time. Maybe you can create some gifts for your loved ones with your new found skills?
Contact me quick for a spot in the course.
Sunday, 10 am till 4pm, materials, lunch and morning tea supplied, $175 for a fun filled day with like minded creatives in a lovely setting.
Hope to see you there.


Follow me on instagram for more up to date news. @ginamastio

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Eco dye course in Sydney, October 21st 2018

This is an example of what we will be covering in my next plant dye class in Sydney, Sunday 21st October 2018. Lunch and materials all included. $175. 10am till 4pm. Contact me for further details.
Hope to see you there.

plant dyed fabrics

flower prints

plant dye samples

natural dyes from various plants

eco prints onto fabric

leaf prints

Samples of different fabrics dyed with flowers

botanical prints

creating pattern with prints

eco dyeing

eco prints

Plant dye course in Sydney

Saturday 15 September 2018

Plant dye course in Sydney, October 21st 2018

For anyone who would enjoy a lovely Sunday spent on the deck with like minded eco enthusiasts, exploring the magic of plant dyes and their wonderful array of colours hidden within.
Lunch and morning tea included plus all materials required.
Sunday October 21st, 2018. 10 am to 4 pm, $175. This is in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.
Contact me for more details.

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Well it's been such a long time...

Well it's been such a long time since I updated my blog, I feel rather ashamed of myself! Apologies if anyone was looking for me. I seem to have become absorbed in other media, namely instagram which is where you will find my up to date info. @ginamastio
But rest assured, I have still had the fingers in the dye pot and some gentle stitching during these winter months here in Sydney. 
One project I enjoyed was the revamping of my woolen blanket which I dyed about five years ago and with age it had faded a bit and gotten pilled as wool does eventually when it's loved. So I threw it back in the dye pot with some fresh leaves and now it has a wonderful second age in a lovely rich colour scheme and those pilling balls all vanished, magic!

Here is some of the lovely beach in Sydney over winter. I quite like the wild and woolly nature of the waves on this particular day. Windswept and interesting.

And here is another project I worked on, dyeing of my silk nuno felt little blankets, perfect for a baby. All natural fibers and plant dyed, no chemicals or mordants. 

I've also run some dye courses since my last post and will be hosting some more in the next couple of months here in Sydney so if you're interested, let me know. Details to follow....

spring is just around the corner....

Sunday 25 June 2017

Sydney Morning Herald article on my eco dye course at Sydney Botanic Gardens

Robin Powell was one of the lovely ladies at my natural plant dye course at the Sydney Botanic Gardens earlier in the year and here is an article she wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald about what she got out of the two day course. Below is the online version of the article.

Gardening: channel your inner 

When I was a child I spent hours making potions and perfumes from the pickings in my mum's garden. The purple fingers of flowers that waved at me from a huge old buddleia were highly sought after, but what I didn't know then is that buddleia has a secret side for the potion-maker. When heated, those purple flowers produce a dye as saffron-yellow as turmeric. 
This astonishing metamorphosis was the most surprising finding of a weekend spent experimenting with eco-dyeing; and reliving my childhood as a garden witch/perfumier. The workshop was held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and run by eco-dyer and felter Gina Mastio.

Mastio makes hand-crafted clothes in wool and nunio, a fabric made by felting wool over silk. The fabric is dyed and printed with what she picks up walking the kids to school or gathers in her Frenchs Forest garden. The garden wasn't planted as a dyer's warehouse. Her interest was edibles, so there are natives out the front for the birds, fruit trees and vegetables out the back for the family, and flowers for bees and butterflies.
But it's all gone into the dye pot at some point. "When I walk around the garden there's always something new to try," she says. "I could use something familiar at a different temperature, or with a different metal to affect the colour. Or I might just use it as a print. I was pruning the 'Bronze Rambler' grevillea the other day and was stuck by its lovely outline – that would make a great print."

Eco-dying and printing is a sleek fit with the hipster appreciation of the hand-crafted; consequently the web is crammed with instructions about how to dye stuff and print stuff with the plants from your garden. To try out it yourself, simply jam some leaves or flowers into a jar of water, and heat up the jar in a boiler of water for 30 minutes (place a folded tea towel in the bottom of the boiler as you would it you were sterilising jars).
Let the colour develop, then strain out the organic matter, dunk a test strip of silk in the dye (silk and wool take up the dye best) and steam the dye jar and its silk strip in the boiler for another half an hour.
We found that banana leaves make a dull green dye, avocado seeds make soft apricot, onion skins make rusty orange, and the dried leaves of ornamental cherries turn silk a lovely pinky-brown. But nothing beat the buddleia for intensity. The tiny browned-off flowers print as sparkles of gold on the fabric. "You can deadhead the bush when the flowers have finished and store them in a paper bag," says Mastio. "They get pretty nasty-looking, but even a year later you still get brilliant colour."
The workshop gave me a whole new way to appreciate my garden – as craft cupboard, and not just for the kids and their potions.

Sunday 30 April 2017

Follow my work on instagram for more up to date posts

Some people like blogs, some facebook or twitter, instagram, pinterest or probably many other things as well. I've never gone for facebook or twitter but I do love instagram to both follow other wonderfully creative people and to post on. So if you're not a 'grammer but think maybe you might like to, this is to show you a bit of my 'feed'. Very photo based or small videos plus a little text. The rare ad but not like facebook. So have a browse, it's a pretty wonderful platform to use, in my opinion. My tag is @ginamastio and if you are already on instagram I hope to meet you soon. 

You will get more of a glimpse of my day to day life and creativity. Just incase you're interested...

Monday 27 March 2017

Photos from eco dyeing and nuno felting at the Sydney Botanic Gardens

plant dyed silks
Here are some photos from the two day nuno felt eco dye course I ran at the Sydney Botanic Gardens recently. This is the third year I have had the pleasure to give a dye workshop at the gardens and I'm always sincerely grateful for the honour, as I do consider it such an incredible landmark in Australia, a place of breathtaking beauty. 

In the workshop this year I combined eco plant dyeing with nuno felt making, so that participants learnt some techniques in both creative fields. In two days they learnt emersion dyes from garden plants, eco printing, created a nuno felt shawl with eco dyeing and a cushion cover, also plant dyed. They now have enough creative knowledge to continue to explore for the rest of their days!
eco prints 


Nuno felt shawls made with pre plant dyed silks and post dyed with plants. Try saying that quickly...

Nuno felt shawls and cushion covers, plant dyed and hand felted.

If you would like to be on a waiting list for my upcoming courses, feel free to contact me here or follow my instagram @ginamastio