Last weekend I went off to reboot my creative vibe, which has been languishing under a layer of brick dust for far too long! I trotted along to the Norwich studio of Aviva Leigh to spend an inspirational day dyeing with natural dyes to transform a variety of yarns, followed by a day of mastering a knitter’s loom to create a piece of woven cloth.
We were fortunate that it was a small group, just the three of us in our rubber gloves and pinnies, oohing and aahing as Aviva introduced us to the magic of dyeing with plant leaves, woodchips, pomegranate skins and even crushed beetles! In my mind natural dyes were soft and subtle, but it’s astonishing how vibrant some of the colours are.It’s also interesting to realise that the building in which Aviva has her studio is in the heart of the historic textile area of Norwich where the river used to run red with the waste from the dyeing factories.
By the end of the first day our heads were spinning with information! So much to take in about the history, the geography and chemistry of natural dyes. Aviva assured us that the following day would be relaxing and mindful, leaving the steamy atmosphere of the dyeing studio to weave our wool samples into cloth.There were just two of us the next day and it’s a very small world because we discovered that my fellow student follows Planet Penny – so, Hello Tracy!! We had a wonderful day experimenting with colours and textures and different effects. So much so that we both headed home having bought our looms, despite both of us saying the last thing we need is yet another craft. It’s just so addictive.I’m itching to get my loom ready for some more experiments but I will have to wait until I have fewer builders in the house. Today there are four, it feels a bit like DIY SOS! But we really are on the home straight now, despite the fact that we’ve just discovered the new back door fits the aperture, but won’t actually open…ho hum…
I’ll be back soon…x