Mention the word ‘workshop’ and you have my undivided attention. I love trying out new creative stuff and over the last couple of years I have attended some inspiring workshops at Harvest Textiles (now Home Work) in Brunswick.
The first one introduced me to the art of Shibori, an ancient Japanese dyeing technique, which uses predominantly indigo-based dyes to create patterns on fabric. You have to get your hands dirty to make the most of this technique and the results can be unpredictable yet incredibly beautiful.
You don’t need any specific skills to attend and they will take you through different techniques, which produce patterns and shapes inspired by the equipment on hand (the only limit is your imagination). Test fabric is provided with the ultimate end goal of dyeing silk scarves for you to wear.
Some of the workshops are only half a day but I was lucky enough to do a 3-day course. On the first day our teacher suggested that we bring in old clothes to dye, so I went through mine and Ava’s wardrobes to see what I could possibly repurpose. I also bought some new plain white pieces (like t-shirts and leggings) to dye.
At the end of the 3-days, I came home with all manner of old/new stuff to show off. Ava now has several unique hand-dyed pieces including leggings, t-shirts and long sleeved tops. I also have a pretty good stash of silk and cotton scarves which I wear all the time. Whenever Ava wears any of her pieces, she proudly announces that ‘My Mum made this!
The blue tones are stunning and I have improved my skills through two further workshops. I have to confess that I’ve become something of a Shibori warrior!
The workshops have also led to me reigniting my long lost passion for screenprinting, although I think mastering this difficult skill might take me a bit longer – practice definitely makes perfect.