Friday, 30 January 2015

Sturt Summer School

No sooner had I finished digesting the Christmas pudding and getting over the champagne from New Year's Eve, it was time to hit the road again and head down to teach a Printing with Mordants and natural dyes workshop at Sturt Summer School.
The grounds of Frencham Girl's School where workshops are held.

This was a similar workshop to what I taught in Geelong last year, with a few plusses and minuses along the way! I love teaching at Sturt because it is only a couple of hours away from Canberra and this means I can pack my car to the brim with everything I need...and more! The campus is very handy to shops, good coffees, the Sturt Gallery and massages and yoga for those who need extra nurturing.  Mark, Tracey and Slavica have got everything super-organised so there is nothing to do but teach, eat and sleep! Bliss.
We had a few minor hiccups with one of our recipes early on in the week, so that set me back a bit trying to figure out what could have gone it turned out it wasn't anything I had miscalculated but perhaps a recipe which needs a little more investigation.  In the end it all worked out and we managed to get some great results with our mordant printing.
One of the great successes was our totally natural indigo dyebath, which we used all week, heating it  and wrapping it up overnight to keep warm.  In Geelong we had the added benefit of a heater in the room, so at Sturt I filled up a bin with hot water and placed the vat in it overnight with lots of insulation to keep it happy :}
Some student work plus stool by local furniture maker

The trouble with making a beautiful indigo vat....what to do with it when you've finished the workshop? After my Turor's talk, a local furniture-maker who studied at Sturt and COFA showed me some of her furniture and bowls that she is selectively dipping into indigo...different coloured woods dye different shades of blue depending on their tannin content.  Above is an example including some student work on the table.  As usual, I was so engrossed in everything I forgot to take more photos during the workshop and at our final display...note to self....
For more information on upcoming workshops please visit the events page on my website.