This past Monday the Glasgow Home Ed group was fortunate enough to attend a workshop at the studios in the Bellahouston Park Art Heritage centre, where Kathryn Beckett of Colour Ecology, a sustainable dye plants project, currently has residence. ( more here: http://kathrynalicebeckett.blog.com/)
We all felt lucky to have warm September sun and most of the work took place outdoors, under blue skies. The children made silk and wool dye bundles with the beautiful harvests of a productive summer: Rowan, Elder and Black – berries; Bracken and Nasturtium leaves and a symphony of foraged flower finds.
These were laid out on the prepared fabric with a measure of care and lashings of flair and creativity then wrapped tightly with string and put in simmering water for one hour under Kathy’s watchful eye.
The children proceeded to experiment with another dye technique: using rolling pins to squash leaves and blooms into squares of absorbent silk. The colours were intense and every piece was unique. We also soaked material in bramble liquid which endowed the cloth with an deliciously earthy, damson hue.
Then we all went to the playground before collecting our works of art and heading home.
We left with vibrant streaming scarves, mini silk masterpieces and fresh bramble dowsed material, not to speak of a wildly enriched sense of the many possibilities our native plants offer us.