India Flint at Beautiful Silks

I had a holiday! I went to Allansford to visit and do a workshop with India Flint (above, in indigo).

I find it fascinating how familiar processes can be done so differently by different people. There was a lot of bundling! This workshop had a lot of sewing in it, and some folks made several garments. I didn’t. I had a lot of thoughts about garments. I had some insights about what I wear and why. I felt confronted, as I often do, by my being fascinated by fabrics and processes and colours and shapes… and loving them on other people, but feeling deeply unable to wear them myself. I have breakouts where I wear something uncharacteristic. I used to even have year long challenges where I would work on being less of a dag at work. And now I don’t have a regular job, I’ve noticed I am even less likely to “smarten myself up” (year long challenge there), less likely to wear things that fit, more likely to wear the same things over and over. I am an incorrigible dag.

The dye pot was a pretty glorious affair. I seem to have taken quite a few pictures of it. I see this one has some paws in it!

Over time I’ve realised that skills and processes (like dyeing and pattern cutting and garment redesign) have multiple uses, and I now notice more than ever, that everything I learn cross pollinates somehow and eventually finds its place. So I just went to this workshop confident it will all get figured out in the end and committed to having a good time. And I sure did!

I roamed the streets of Allansford looking for dye prospects on walks, runs and drives. I saw things in the distance and wandered right up to them to check them out. I also tried species I can’t get at home and haven’t had success with, in the past.

I’ve just realised that the thread in the bottom right of this picture, is the thread I was mending with last night! I do love the wild oranges that eucalypts can give. And it is fun to branch out away from the fabrics I most use at home. I also had some good experiments with iron.

India demonstrated some lovely ideas. I always enjoy watching her imagination at work… and then seeing the way that sparks the imaginations of the people in the workshop–whose work is all so individual. I loved hearing people talk about their work and the way they think about the process and about clothing. I also enjoy the landscape that emerges on a shared table of people working with textiles… part of which you can see here!

This was one of my personal highs–this is a print on a discarded pair of woollen long johns. A really GREAT, exciting print! Sadly, it is on fabric that is unlikely to have much life left in it. But I’ll be finding a use for it just the same.

I dyed silks from Beautiful Silks as well as cotton sheets I picked up at the fine op shops of Warrnambool. I tried some clamping and some repeat designs.

As the workshop progressed, the drying lines got wilder and more spectacular. (My project on the left).

These are the fabrics I took home to play with, and a close up print of what I think is E Platypus, featuring what the euc book calls “flattened, strap-like peduncles”. This phrase is a source of great merriment to me (and a select few friends with similar preoccupations)…

And to close, spectacular lichens of beautiful Warrnambool. And so much gratitude to India, Marion, Brenda, and the other fine folks who attended the workshop.


Filed under Natural dyeing

6 responses to “India Flint at Beautiful Silks

  1. janewheelercouk

    oh wonderful, what a treat. (I have to admit I am a bit the same about clothes. I have to wear things that I can paint in. so that’s none of my lovely leaf-print silky merino pinafore dresses that I made in the mid 20-tweens. And in Scotland it’s bloomin’ cold in the winter, so that is umpteen layers, and I am still wearing them because it still feels like winter here, and the same things from week to week, like a uniform. But I love thinking up new clothes and making them. Luckily my daughter accepts and even commissions new offerings. But I can’t help wanting to make myself that new pair of loose tailored linen trousers, ditto big shirt …. and I have wardrobes stuffed with clothes that go back over the last 20 years …)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Mary Elinor Hetzel

    Great to hear how your story of experimenting and creating with India. Lovely photos too! I discovered her work a few work a few years ago and while I am still very much a novice, I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous! I don’t know the term “dag” but I’m pretty sure, from your text, that I am one. Fantasy: wearing gorgeous idiosyncratic, eccentric outfits, unique. Reality: wearing what’s comfy and fits and well, that’s about it. Been wearing the same thrifted clothes since pre-c0vid. A few bits and bobs inherited from Mom (and a big ol’ plaid flannel shirt kept from Dad). And the India Flint books I gave to Mom have now come to me. (sniff…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think that you’re onto the meaning of “dag”. More about comfort than style and definitely not in fashion! I am so sorry that you’re grieving for your Mum. It sounds like you were blessed to have some deep values and interests in common. I hope you are able to hold her memory as a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

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