Thursday 27 February 2014

Felt making for beginners 1 day course: create a woollen scarf

I will be running a series of workshops at Mosman Community College (here in Sydney) in felt making and also natural eco dyeing. These will be from beginner level to intermediate and advanced levels. For anyone who would like to explore this fascinating medium in a friendly and fun environment, guided by me to help you create your own designs. 
The first course will cover 2D felting, where we will create a woollen scarf in this one day course. We will explore the technique of wet wool felting and understanding shrinkage rates and how to know when we have felted the item enough.  
In term 2, this will be repeated for new students and then each week a more advanced level will be offered, covering 3D felting such as creating a hat or bag, then nuno felting, then eventually making a nuno felt tunic in the advanced course. There will also be a natural plant dyeing workshop on offer for those who would love to experiment with creating their own colours from plants and also open to people who are not following the felting workshops.
For more information on these courses, please click on the following link:
For further information, please contact the college at

Tuesday 25 February 2014

The secrets within

Well my beauties have been sunbathing for a couple of weeks and then yesterday I decided it was time to open one. This proved more difficult that I imagined as the bottling had created such an effective seal that it required much force to open.

Here was my murky brown eucalyptus bottle with its secrets within.


I love it. This is on thick hemp fabric and a finer hemp and organic cotton mix. A very exciting start!

Sunday 16 February 2014

Past, present, future?

It's funny how our creative paths change over time. The personal evolution of techniques and style, shape, form. When I first began using the eco print techniques 6 years ago back on the farm in France, after buying India Flint's 'Eco Colour' book and devouring it... I wanted to achieve clean prints, crisp outlines and no surprise marks of grey or purple turning up on the fabrics. My style of creation was like this:

I tend to think of it as my 'romantic' phase. I was indeed reading the entire works of Jane Austen at the time... and hanging out in old farm houses in the French countryside has got to have had an effect.

Today however I am back in my homeland, the ancient old rock of Australia. And perhaps as a result of this relaxed atmosphere, where "she'll be right, mate" tends to be the prevailing attitude, my fixation on dyeing precise and neat has faded. (excuse the puns)

I've been tinkering these last two days, out on the deck with the gorgeous vista of late summer. Experimenting with offerings in the latest (tiny) book by the goddess of natural dyes, entitled "stuff, steep and store". 

Despite or perhaps due to living in a far busier place than before, I am working at a slower rate. There are so many things to get done everyday, it's hard to devote more time to my creations. I think of it as balancing sanity...

For the results of these wrappings I will have to be patient. Hmmmm.... tricky that. But so be it. A meditation in itself. Complete experimentation, no idea what they will give. It feels good to let go of the reigns and just experiment, with no ambition of result.

ps I have also been working out some courses in felt making that will be offered at Mosman Community College in term 2. More on that soon!