photos below show some of the natural dyeing process that we dyed fleece with - I
was learning in particular about woad which produces the vivid blue. It was a really exciting process, and felt particuluarly exciting to dye such vivid colours from plants that Georgina had grown, and we had harvested that very morning.
The weekend of workshops also included an introduction to hand spinning, as well as a session learning the basics of weaving on a small loom.
adding the fleece to the woad dye vat
when the fleece comes out of the dye bath, the colour changes rapidly
some of the fleece dyed with woad, and also chammomile and weld, drying on the rack
some of the other samples, including the coreopsis which produced such a wonderfully vivid red.
I had a very intensive week, assisting Hannah to get all of this show together, ready for its previews at the Square Chapel, Halifax, and the Waterside Arts Centre, Salford before heading to Summerhall at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show is a fantastical and futuristic sci-fi tale, set in the hull of a fishing boat. Rob Bentall created a live soundscape for each performance, which helped to create a wonderfully immersive audience experience.
Here is another project from our wonderfully long summer, and to the Arboretum in Nottingham, for the Nottingham Mela. I lead the craft session of the story telling workshop, developing ideas for Mashi Theatre's new show all about tigers and bees, called 'Stripey Honey is very yummy'. It is being developed into a show in the coming months, so do keep your eyes peeled for their new show.
There is a definite focus on sustainability and responsibilty for this story, so, together with Sue Pyecroft, we designed and made bee puppets from solar powered light bulbs, that the young people could take away with them. I was also very busy making tiger tails for the workshop! Parmjit Sagoo led the storytelling and yoga session, which kept every child enthralled... a really wonderful afternoon!
I've been remembering warmer weather this evening, as the dark and misty autmnal nights creep in again. In July I had the pleasure of helping Michelle Reader to re-feather her amazing sculpture of a redshank to install at Marwell Zoo, as part of a sculpture trail . The redshank was made from lots of different recycled materials, mainly the wooden and metal slats from Venetian blinds! Michelle makes all of her sculptures using recycled and found objects, and it was so inspiring to see, and work alongside her in her studio.