A Walk in the Woods
Every plant gives some kind of colour, depending on how it is processed. This class will embrace a number of methods for colour extraction as well as protocols for plant collection and plant identification.
Participants will explore the local area around Shakerag Workshops through writing, drawing, stitching and dyeing taking mindful windfall walks, mapping marks, observing, and responding to the essence of the woods.
During the week we will dye silk and wool, using windfall leaves from the woods, and construct a series of small leaf-illustrated textile notebooks that will be both maps of the journey taken and documents recording the week’s explorations.
We will work with plant dyes, stitch, paper, and cloth.
- Needles and stitching threads [natural fibers only]
- A small bag of undyed fabric scraps - preferably silk and/or wool
- Some sturdy rubber bands and a small ball of natural fiber string
- A couple of soft drawing pencils and a small paintbrush
- A small journal for notes and a digital camera
- Several sheets of paper per person
- A small selection of fabric samples - cost approximately US $20 per person
In my work I honour the stitch and the dress-up box, cherish fragments, rummage contentedly in grandmother’s button jar and remember old stories. I reference the traditions of the nine-patch, follow sheep trails, go woolgathering and fill my pockets with leaves. As a small girl I loved to sit on the front stoop with my grandmother listening to her telling stories as the sun gradually set. My favourite was that of the princess who finds herself alone in the forest and must make her clothing from what she can find...leaves, grass, and wisps of fur caught on the bushes. It’s still an important story.
India Flint was born in Melbourne and has led a peripatetic life with pillows at various times in Quebec, Vermont, Germany, and Austria. Her textile practice embraces art, theatre, science, and fashion. Flint completed an MA in 2001, researching eucalyptus dyes for textiles. Her book Eco Colour was published in 2008. Represented in Museum collections in Europe and Australia, she has undertaken costume commissions for Leigh Warren & Dancers as well as the West Australian Ballet. The distinctive eco-print that marks all her work is one of her most significant discoveries. India Flint always travels with a small cauldron and with large pockets, collecting windfalls and dyeing cloth as she wanders.