Tuesday, February 25, 2014

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Tracing the Threads ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~~~~~~~~~~ Tracing the Threads ~~~~~~~~~~


Introducing a five-day calligraphy workshop I am teaching in Mittagong in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW at Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft & Design winter school- June 30 to July 4, 2014

In Tracing the Threads the participants will explore the importance of lineage through the works of five English 20th & 21st century calligraphers, Edward Johnston, Irene Wellington, Sheila Waters, Gaynor Goffe & Ewan Clayton. We will enjoy and examine their work and their philosophies, recreate samples of their work in an effort to understand the importance in sound lineage so we can move forward from formal roots to freedom of personal statement.

The calligraphy of each will be analysed and recreated to build a small, unbound portfolio to help in tracing the threads to sew our own evolving calligraphic tapestry. This class will be open to beginner, intermediate and advanced students. Give yourself some really good foundations upon which to build.

The venue is a 1.5 hour drive by car or train trip south of Sydney

For more information about this hands-on workshop please contact me or for enrollment please contact Sturt: http://www.sturt.nsw.edu.au/

s u m m e r t i m e - p l a n t d y e i n g

Pamela came to visit Tas in early February.

Here she is at the Eklektikos exhibition.



We decided to do some plant dyeing papers for grounds while she was here, just for fun.

In a huge storm, one of the gum trees came down at the Bay
so we took the opportunity to secure some leaves and gum-nuts from the top of the tree. Normally out of reach!

Pot-boiling leaves at the ready!

Flowers and leaves at the ready! Aren't these colours a m a z i n g !

Pam preparing the pot!

We boiled up the dye-pot for two hours with a little iron sulphate and some copper sulphate
to act as mordants. And while we boiled up the plant material we got our papers and other plants prepared:

 Papers Prepared!

Fuchsias randomly laid ... with a little thought!

Rose petals randomly laid ...

Cousin Alex thought he would like to try his hand ...

And then we enjoyed a lovely dinner party!

Netta & Pam at the dining table ...

A new day dawns and we are ready to open the vat!

Hmmm yes ... we are wearing our gloves!

At all times when handling the dye pot, wear gloves!

Out came the next batch of rolled gems!

Pam's gum leaves

My rose petals

 Alex's crocosmia twig

Pamela & Alex studying the booty!

Alex with his masterpiece ... there were two of these of course!

Alex insisted on co-signing. We thought that a good word to use for a mathematician!

A great deal of fun was had by all, Netta, Alex, Pamela, David & me.
Plus we produced some pretty lovely works for grounds ... watch this space on that one!

Pam went back to Canberra armed with new methods of eco-dyeing techniques and lots of papers!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

lilium et. al. eco-dyeing

I have tried something different again.

Just as they were wilting, I cut up the yellow arum lilies from Salamanca
David gave me as I worked my way through a hefty commission.

I boiled up some plants from the garden, mostly eucalyptus because I love the aroma.

I tore strips of Hahnnemuhl paper and rolled a lily in each one, cutting it open to expose the stamen.

I rolled ten of these and place them in the boiling dye-pot.

I added 1/2 a teaspoon (only) of iron sulphate purchased from the local garden centre,
as my mordant.

It went this lovely rich brown/black colour! I always throw in some excess card & paper
for bookmarks and postcards.

Turn everything off and leave to do it's own thing!  Poke and prod on occasion only to be nosy!


Gently, one by one I tonged them out into the laundry tub.

Wear rubber gloves at all times!  Never handle any of this stuff without them!

Looking gorgeous and these are only the offcuts!

The bands come off!

I gently run water and open one of the rolls to see my little surprises ...

When dry, I am amazed yet again at these lovely subtle and sublime treasures
to use as ground in my work.


Visit my website too!

Visit my website too!
In-class illumination demonstration

Something about Gemma

My photo
Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia
I am an Australian, a letter designer & calligrapher. I enjoy working with letters and grounds, teaching and mixing with like-minded people.


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