Tuesday, September 25, 2012

August Workshop with India Flint - Day One

At the beginning of August, my friend Margie and I ventured north to Santa Barbara to take part in a three-day workshop with artist/author India Flint from Australia.  The workshop was entitled "The Wayfayer's Wanderbook".  India is the author of two books on eco-printing -- creating prints and color on cloth and paper with natural materials:  "Eco Colour" and "Second Skin".  Darcy Ritzau -- who is an absolute dear -- graciously hosted this wonderful and amazing workshop in her Goleta home where she has a beautiful  artist's studio.  We can't thank you enough, Darcy, for bringing India to the West Coast.

I was very happy to see two of our other good friends at India's workshop, Debbie and Randy, both teachers from our Orange County area.  In all, there were about 12  students.

On the first day, we got right into it.  India provided each of us a piece of paper and had us crush it into a ball to soften it and then we stitched on it and repaired any tears on the edges.
We then folded our paper in a unique way and slipped leaves and flowers in between the folds and bound it before placing our little bundle in the dyepot, which had been brewing all the while we were stitching.  Eucalyptus leaves, of course.
 Dyepot and bundles ready to simmer.
 Our first bundles fresh from the dyepot -- ready to be opened.
 We all gathered around on the grass in anticipation as India shows us how to open the bundles.

 Carefully indeed -- as the magic is unveiled.
 So simple yet so beautiful.
 Here is my opened bundle.
 We displayed everyone's opened bundle on the grass and stood back with amazement.
 Lovely and Amazing!!  We were all having the best time.

While our first bundles were simmering, we embarked upon our next project.  India gave us each an envelope containing pieces of various fabrics, mostly silks.  We spent our time stitching these fabrics to a piece of paper.  

Stitching included a bit of embroidery, too.

After making our little bundles, they were placed in the dyepot to be attended to by India and Darcy -- a little something to look forward to in the morning on Day Two of our workshop. With Day One behind us and an impending rainstorm, Margie and I set off to our Santa Barbara hotel and then to find a place for dinner.  

On foot and armed with an umbrella, we set off to State Street and soon discovered that it was a wild crowd, confetti all over the streets and sidewalks and hordes of people celebrating Fiesta Days -- an event to be avoided we decided.  We managed to duck off State Street and found a nice little Mediterranean restaurant on a side street and bypassed all of the "festivities".  
We had a great dinner at Zaytoon but passed on having a dessert hookah -- not really our style -- and then made our way back to our hotel room in the on again, off again light rain showers. Before having left Darcy's studio, one of the participants handed everyone a gigantic industrial coffee filter.  We spent the whole rest of our evening stitching on our coffee filters so that we could put them in the dyepot the next day.

Suffice it to say, we were ready for our next adventurous day with India.

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