Colour, Naturally

I’ve been very occupied with curating an exhibition about natural dyes and dyeing the yarns in the photo below

The exhibition is on until the 26th September, 2021 at Devon Guild of craftsmen and has some beautiful work displayed. It is hoped that people can gain a little insight into the potential for natural colour, safely applied and fast, bright and beautiful. We hope the myths about natural dyes being boring, disappearing and generally not a good thing can be dispelled. We tend to forget that everything made before the 1850s used natural colour – textiles, ink , paint, etc. Perkin’s discovery of a commercially viable colour ,mauvine, took the Victorians by storm and led to the rapid introduction of many more colours. Our predecessors in the dye world didn’t always use the safest ingredients or methods but today we are able to produce the full gamut of colour without harming either the environment or ourselves. What’s not to like?!

There are even dye plants in the courtyard: weld, woad, Japanese indigo, dyers chamomile, cosmos, marigold and madder that has suddenly gone into overdrive. I think it prefers the Devon Guild to my back garden.

In other news, I taught the first face to face dye day at the wonderful Loom Shed near Cullompton, on Saturday ( wonderful space for teaching with plenty of light, plenty of looms, enough room for social distancing to be easy and a rigorous attitude to personal safety meant we all felt safe. The facilities are first class. Liz and Louise are wonderful hosts, highly skilled and knowledgeable textile artists and the whole organisation is a delight. I will be back!