Monday, 24 September 2012

shibori + indigo = love

Shibori class floor
work drying & oxidising
one of my test pieces
another test piece of mine
other students' text pieces
There's nothing quite like trying something new to give you a buzz. Jo Fowles taught a shibori indigo dye workshop over the weekend at the wonderful Harvest Workroom. I went along on Sunday and helped out. Which meant I got to see Jo in action and participate in some of the fun. In short, I got my hands dirty - blue dirty - as anyone who has worked with indigo will tell you they get even with gloves on! Originally from London Jo is now based in Sydney and creates the most dreamy geometric inspired textiles based on a combination of techniques. She says she is "process driven" and this shows in her passion to get people working and trying things out. You must, must, must check out some of Jo's work here.

In the workshop we used a whole range of wonderful tools and paraphernalia to twist, tie, clamp and stuff into our textile pieces before dyeing. We then dunked these into indigo dye vats and waited to see what would result. There was quite a bit of excitement happening as each person untied, unwrapped or unclamped their work. There were lots of surprises and part of the learning was about letting going of expectations about what we thought would result to play and experiment and let the process show us what was possible. The indigo cloth spectacular at the back of the Harvest Workroom by mid afternoon was really something to be seen.

I'm told via a reliable source that Jo will be back at Harvest Workroom in January for more textiles fun. You can find all the information about that here. I think yesterday may have ignited a little fire for me. If only I could get my hands into an indigo vat on a regular basis!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

the honey makers

So this one had a hard birth. The design came quick enough but then I wasn't happy with it as just a single colour print. The bees were meant to be just the one (not the 5 here) and it (the bee) was going to be in black too originally. And that all changed as I started printing which meant the bees got added one by one in that bright punchy yellow. I do mostly like a monochrome palette but occasionally I can let myself add a splash of colour to lighten the energy in a print.

So 'the honey makers' is here in gorgeous 100% linen + ready for use.

Some thoughts on process this week....I've been spending time with quite a few creative folk of late due to the 'big story' I'm writing (a PhD - some background on my other world here) and it's been a glorious thing. I've had a number of similar conversations about process birthing ideas for future projects/work. That is, you start working on something and while you're in there with your creative juices flowing it generates ideas for all kinds of other work. It's like you have to be immersed in the creative process to help this other generative process happen. Well in printing over this weekend I felt that happen. My head has been gurgling with all kinds of ideas for future designs and illustrations. Mostly I think it's a result of trialing designs, manipulating them, problem solving on the hop and then eventually resolving the design issues. Something happens in my creative head space when all of that other stuff is working away. Does that happen to you?

Saturday, 8 September 2012

ice blue

Sometimes you've got to go with the idea of 'less is more'. Even though the over-printing on the snow gum print was working out I decided that I wanted to have a single print of this design on linen as well. So I mixed up a nice ice blue this morning as an experiment. Then a printmaker on twitter, @meganjmcpherson, suggested that the coolness of the blue against the warmth of the linen worked because it does in nature. This was the image she used to make her case:

which kind of makes sense to me. So it's listed here in case it takes your fancy.

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Spring blossoms and country air. It doesn't get much better that this. Pics are from the Castlemaine, Chewton, Kyneton area in Victoria.