Thursday, August 02, 2012

Back in the Woad...Again!

Fall is just around the corner...which means our Woad Master, Denise Lambert, will be visiting from France soon to offer another amazing Woad Workshop at French General.  We have been dying with the Woad plant for the past five years, and every year we learn a bit more - it seems the pigment has many stories to tell!  If you haven't heard of Woad before (and if you read this blog - you have probably heard about it a lot!).
Our workshop this year is planned for Saturday, September 15th from 9-4.  Students are encouraged to bring whatever they would like to dye - be creative - a couple of years ago a friend brought her wedding dress!  The best materials for dying with Woad are natural materials - hemp, silk, cotton, wool and linen.  Be sure to pre-wash everything in very hot water to take out any sizing or stains.  Nothing bigger than a tablecloth will fit into the vats - so if you are thinking of bringing sheet sets, you may have to cut them in half and then sew them back together!
On the day of the workshop, everyone meets at French General in the morning for coffee and a snack and then we carpool up to a historic field in Elysian Park.  After a fascinating lecture on the history of Woad, Denise guides us to the vats and we dye to our hearts content!  A brief stop for a hearty meal at noontime and then it's back to the vats to finish up any undyed materials that we can find - this is when people can get a little crazy and jeans get thrown in the vat!  After a full day of Woading (it's a verb too!) - we return to French General for a glass of Lillet served up by my dad - the resident bartender at French General!
photo courtesy of fineartstextiles
This year, we are offering something new and exciting for true Woad enthusiasts!  The day before our Saturday workshop, Denise Lambert will be of offering a Woad Master Class at French General.  The Woad Master Class will be limited to 12 students who want to learn the process of building up the mother vat which we will be using on Saturday in the park.  On Friday, September 14th, we will meet in the morning at French General, help Denise build the vats with the Woad pigment, break for lunch and then have a special workshop on preparing fabrics to be dyed - which will include classic Shibori stitching techniques.   I think some of the most beautiful dyed pieces are the ones that have been prepared - and this workshop will give you the time to do so.  Fabric, stitching kits and lunch will be provided in this special workshop.
Hope to see you in September!



Hello Kaari,

The colours and motifs are just fabulous! I really wish I live closer...


Marlynne said...

Woad dyeing sounds so interesting! Notb heard of it here in the States!

Ann Ferguson said...

If only you were on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. I would love to come. It sounds brilliant.

Marion said...

I'm getting ready to " walk down the blue brick woad of Elysian Park!"with my fabrics by washing them in scorching hot water. I have some hand woven Guatemalan fabric to dye. I' m happily marking the days off my calendar.
Are any of you here at The Warp and Weft going?