On Wednesday, 4. February I run a wool dying workshop with onion skins with Bettina Holland, a 2.year student. Myself, I am new to natural dying and find a fascinating process as the is always a “surprise” element in there! I love dying with onion skins as it is so simple, no mordants maybe a bit of pre-soaking with vinegar and the dye bath can be tipped out to water plants and in an ideal world the exhausted skins could go on the compost! We used a rather large pot and there for ended up with a fairly pale color. When I was dying wool skeins and flees last summer at home, I used a smaller domestic sauce-pan and archived a strong burnt orange colour.
We dyed skeins of wool and unspun fleece. I also put in a small skein of pale indigo dyed wool and it came out in a gentle mottled and variegated tone.
As fascinating as the dying processes are I intent to keep to a very selective range. I am interested in Woad and Weld, blue and yellow and there for green as almost human input to the natural sheep fleece colours.
This year I intend to plant in gardens of some of my supportive friends around Penzance some Woad and Weld, in order to experience the effect of working with fresh plants rather then with powder.
The dying process opens of new avenues for exploring textures and carding dyed fleece with undyed fleece.
In the carding waste was for example, some reddish brown Alpaca and I carded it with white and greys, mixing the silky soft alpaca with more wire wool! it gives a very unique yarn and it is interesting to spin.
Beginn of this year I became a member of the Cornwall guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.(http://www.cgwsd.btik.com/)
The Guild is holding monthly meeting in Probus and Chacewatter, at the 3rd Friday of a month in Probus is usually a workshop or talk organised.
This month Jean Deane (http://www.cgwsd.btik.com/) shared with us how to dye with Indigo in the most natural way.
Jean is very inspired by Gracia, a French Botanist and Scientist (http://naturaldyeworkshop.com/about/) who has created recipes for natural dying particular for Indigo dyeing.
Indigo for me is now sheer magic! To see the colour of the vat (that is the dye bath), the colour when the wool comes out, still more greenish yellow and then the transformation through oxygen into the wonderful blue!
Before hand I had hand spun yarn from the carding waste for this occasion and also dyed some fleece!
The experience gave me the confidence to work with Indigo, woad and weld at home and with my students at Camborne college.
Couple of weeks ago I had meet by chance Justin Duance and his wife Poppy Treffry in Truro. I was working with my hand spun wool and the nalebinding needles. Justin is a jewellery maker and Poppy a textile designer\ maker! both very well known locally in Penzance/ Newlyn.
My work triggered their curiosity and we talked about old techniques and hand making.
I told them that the needles I was using where bought on Etsy, one set from Norway and the other one from North America and I hadn’t found any made in the UK. Also how much I would love to find someone locally who could make needles for me from sustainable woodb(local or reclaimed).
Immediately Justin offered very kindly to have a go, he would have the right wood and the machinery in his workshop. Very gratefully I accepted his offer!
So yesterday I went over to his workshop; I had made 3 cardboard templates and was really exited!
Justin had a piece of yew tree wood and first cut a smaller needle based on my Norwegian needle, I had made it a bit longer and bigger. He cut it out and with the sander brought it into shape !
I then sat down at his workspace with files and sandpaper to finish it of and when it was smooth enough Justin gave it a polish with some Teak oil.
Then Justin cut a thin and longer needle and I finished it off!
It was very satisfying it work with Justin, someone who understands what I am aiming for and how important the aspect of collaboration with local people and using local materials is for me.
I feel truly blessed to have given this opportunity and Justin invited me back to do some more !
“Making Things together ”
is a monthly series of workshops/talks in the context of the research project Co-creating Care
Crafting at The Poly,Falmouth with Shane Waltener:
Saturday 22 February: 10.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
Trained as a sculptor, Shane Waltener’s work draws inspiration from craft traditions and processes. He leads co-creation events working with a range of materials and techniques, from Needlecraft to knitting to food crafts, weaving and basketry. Shane describes these as “a conversation through making” that reflects a shared creative journey. His projects are interactive, participatory and fun, as he shifts our attention away from the symbolic meaning of objects and materials to focus on process and the activity of working with them.
Shane will lead a workshop at the Poly in Falmouth on Saturday, 22nd February from 10:30am to 1pm. The event is open to everyone, but numbers are strictly limited, so please sign up on the Eventbright site, add link as soon as possible and bring your ticket with you.
This event is run in conjunction with the AHRC-funded project Co-Creating CARE, which aims to explore the relationship between making and connecting.
For more information about Care: http://cocreatingcare.wordpress.com/the-project/
For more information about Shane Waltener: http://www.shanewaltener.com/
For more information contact Dr Fiona Hackney: fiona.Hackney@falmouth.ac.uk and Mary Loveday-Edwards: firstname.lastname@example.org
“In the old days, the old fellows were sitting around, all the women were laughing , joking – so all that conversation has gone into the basket.”
Verna Nichols , Tasmania
This quote gathered to much up, how I feel about my practise.
When I look again at the cloth were people have embroidered on on now 4 occasions, it seems as if I can still her the voices, the stories and the laughter. And I see as well those, how were quietly stitching, not saying much, but listing and still part, adding their stitches.
My practise has these two aspects
– creating spaces where people can experience again a communal situation, of working with their hands creatively and being with people
– working on my own with very slow technique using Embroidery, Knitting, Crochet and very recently hand spinning as a meditative activity
– Working with my “traveling” projects where ever I am, on the train, in Cafés, with friends talking at the Folk evenings in my home town
Sometimes when I pick up a embroidered cloth, or a hat, knitted from my own pattern and from well chosen wool, I smile as the memories flood back.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the underlying intend for my activities, shared and alone is Wellbeing.
I was invited by Ilker Cinarel to take part in the exhibition:
INNterval – An artistic collaboration at the Halsetown Inn – a tribute to the legacy of J.Henry Irving.
The Halsetown Inn, 2nd / 8th February 2014
It was a mixed media show, ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography and Embroidery!
It was a wonderful night for me, as right from the beginning of the private view till the end people were gathering around the table and started stitching. As a space became free, someone new joined in!
When I was talking to people, I noticed the joy and pleasure, they took out of this rather unexpected opportunity in the context of an otherwise conceptual exhibition setting. It was interesting to watch people stitching and talking, with great intensity!
I am very thankful to Ilker Cinarel, for the opportunity to show my work and to all the people who became participants in the Joy of Stitch!
Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action
Here feminist philosophers and ecofeminist scholars pursue the connections between feminism and environmentalism. Topics include the ecofeminist ethic; the role of patriarchal concepts in perpetuating the domination of women and nature; the grassroots origins and character of a thoughtful ecofeminism; the “ecofeminism-deep ecology debate” in environmental philosophy; deep ecological treatment of animal rights and the omission of ecofeminist analyses of the domination of animals, abortion, and nuclear deterrence; and ways ecofeminism and the science of ecology are or could be engaged in complementary, supportive projects.
The contributors are Carol J. Adams, Carol H. Cantrell, Jim Cheney, Chris Cuomo, Deane Curtin, Victoria Davion, Roger J. H. King, Stephanie Lahar, Patricia Jagentowicz Mills, Patrick D. Murphy, Val Plumwood, Catherine Roach, Robert Sessions, Deborah Slicer, and Karen J. Warren.
Women healing earth:
Third World women on ecology, feminism, and religion
Drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology that authorizes oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology that sanctions the oppression of nature. In this collection of essays, feminist scholars and activists discuss the relationships among human begins, the natural environment, and nonhuman animals. They reject the nature/culture dualism of patriarchal thought and locate animals and humans within nature. The goal of these twelve articles is to contribute to the evolving dialogue among feminists, ecofeminists, animal liberationists, deep ecologists, and social ecologists in an effort to create a sustainable lifestyle for all inhabitants of the earth. Among the issues addressed are the conflicts between Green politics and ecofeminism, various applications of ecofeminist theory, the relationship of animal liberation to ecofeminism, harmful implications of the romanticized woman-nature association in Western culture, and cultural limitations of ecofeminism.
Women, Culture, Nature (Google eBook)
“… provides readers with a much-needed cross-cultural and multidisciplinary perspective on ecofeminist activism and scholarship.” — Iris
“… a very important contribution to the literature on ecological feminism.” — Ethics
“I think the unique collection of so many different perspectives will help to push readers out of their disciplinary views and work to bring theory and practice together in meaningful ways…. an excellent resource for scholars and teachers…” — Teaching Philosophy
Here the potential strengths and weaknesses of the growing ecofeminist movement are critically assessed by scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and vocations, including anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, education, political science, recreation and leisure studies, sociology, and political organizing.
Creative Living in a Consumer Society
This is a book about simplicity – not destitution, parsimoniousness or self-denial, but the restoration of wealth in the midst of an afflence in which we are starving the spirit. It is a book about the advantages of living a less cluttered, less stressful life than that which has become the norm in the overcrowded and manic-paced consuming nations. It is a book about having less and enjoying more, enjoying time to do the work you love, enjoying time to spend with your family, enjoying time to pursue creative projects, enjoying time for good eating, enjoying time just to be.
I have been reading in Jane Brocket’s book ‘The Gentle Art of Stitchning’ and came across Sashiko Embroidery. I amfazinted by the imagges of old, traditionalle Sashiko, which was used for darning and embellishing at the same time. I love the look of the worn and faded indigo dyed cloth, embroidered with white cotton yarn. I had come across these images before when I was researching about the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philoshophy . So many aspects of this tradition appeal to me, it the simplicity of the stitch, the matrial and the underlying idea to use it for mending and caring.
Friday, 7. June, on the Train home,