Dyeing to meet you

Well the weekend workshopping continues unabated here at HML. After our successful outing with rope craft we dived headfirst into a vat of indigo out Pascoe Vale way, picking up some serious shibori skills along the way at Bind and Fold's Victoria Pemberton first Shibori workshop. We've all been following each other on Instagram -the home of all good creatives ;) - but hadn't met in the real world, so this was a great way of covering multiple bases at once.

As it turns out Gemma Patford our rope wrangler from the weekend before has recently collaborated on a series of indigo dyed rope vessels with Victoria, which have now graced the pages of virtually all the local interior mags. Well done ladies, way to work a collab! 

Victoria started out working with procion dyes but was quickly seduced by natural/eco dying methodology and outcome and is now a bit of a natural 'vat specialist' having spent the past 12 months or so daily reading, researching and testing out the many vagaries of vat dying. For our workshop she'd made up four different strenth vats for us to sample with as well as bringing back an old vat from 'the dead' right before our eyes which was pretty impressive. Especially as it was the one that turned out to be everyones favourite.

We worked through a range of traditional shibori processes like arashi and itajime as well as had time to play around with dip dying and more random bound resist methods. It was great to have so much space and time to go through the processes in such a small and focused group as well as getting very cool insider tips from a daily dyer. After a good few hours of solid experimentation we were soon finding our feet and selecting our favourite techniques and vat strengths.

Thankfully Vic provided us with some fresh fruit and cheese platters to keep us going, as most of us were barely stopping long enough to breathe let alone eat, and soon we'd not only filled the clothes line but the clothes racks as well with our output.

After lunch - yes we did all eventually have to sit down for a few minutes - we moved from our cotton samples to silk scarves. In keeping with Ramona and I playing the part of over enthusiastic mature age students we'd remembered to not only bring along some extra fabric for dying but a bunch of big raw wooden beads to dye. I decided to combine the two extras and was pretty happy with the results.

And the beads turned out a treat as well. Bonus!

Followers of Ramona's instagram feed will know that blue is pretty much colour de jour both within Ramona's wardrobe and here at HML HQ, so she was all for getting as much indigo on everything as possible. She even came to the workshop wearing white plimsoles with the sole purpose of 'accidentally' dyeing them during the day. 

Regular readers know that my dye course with the inimitable Joanna Fowles at harvest last year was pretty much a game changer for me professionally and creatively, and as it turns out this session and the alchemical magic of indigo has had a similar effect on Ramona. Team HML has most definitely got the blues. BECK

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