|Kay Faulkner and Catharine Ellis at 'Parallel' opening|
|Catharine Ellis - Woven shibori in Weld dyebath|
|Kay Faulkner - detail of "Give them Voice"|
I first met Catharine in 2012, when I undertook an intensive workshop with her and Joy Boutrup at Penland in North Carolina on 'The Art and Science of Natural Dyes'. What I was most interested in was the application of mordants and natural dyeing for direct printing, and since 2012 this is what I have based my dye and print practice on in order to produce work for exhibition and teaching what I have discovered along the way. I owe my deeper understanding of the chemistry and its application to natural dyeing to both Catharine and Joy, and, as many of my students will testify, I have always encouraged others to seek this dynamic duo out if they ever get the chance to attend one of their workshops. Catharine and Joy have now published a technical book through Schiffer, and this is now my new 'bible'. What I love about this book is it is not a 'pretty coffee table book' like so many others on the market at the moment- it is truly something you can turn to to get the answers and recipes you need for natural dyes and mordants.
So, with my personally delivered copy of the book from Catharine under my arm, I set forth to teach at Grampians Texture in hall's Gap, Victoria. This was my first time teaching here and it does not follow the usual format of the other residential workshops I am known to teach in. Students and tutors do not live in the one place, and instead are scattered throughout the picturesque and magnificent towering cliffs of the Grampians. Classrooms are also similarly dispersed, but we all manage to get together at some point during the artist slide nights, or a casual (yet competitive) game of petanque!!
|View of the Grampians from the Information Centre|
Staying in one of the many caravan park resorts we were surrounded by all manner of flora and fauna. Many a night I was woken by the cough coughing of a huge kangaroo outside my hut window, or the surprise of seeing a deer with her faun as we drove into the resort at dusk.
|Naturally dyed and mordant printed by Althea H.|
|Naturally dyed and mordant printed by Christine McR (left - weld) and Lodi L (right - madder).|
|Scarves by Carole M (left -weld), Cheryl C (centre - onion skins) and Diane M (right - logwood)|
My photos don't do justice to the wonderful work the students managed to achieve but I was very proud of them all, and I hope to see more of their work in the future.
My next upcoming workshop will be a Textile Printing using Photographic Stencils workshop in Ballarat in late June. For more details click here, and an Indigo Resist and Shibori workshop in Mittagong for the Sturt Winter School, click here
All upcoming events and workshops are also listed on my Website