Monday, August 30, 2010

Infinite Potential

One of the ladies who works with my dye, Vera Jonkers, sent me this gorgeous photo this week. She crush dyed the fabric in blues and sea greens before making up this lovely dress for her daughter for her matric dance.
The picture reminded me why I fell in love with the medium in the first place.
Dye and prints can turn a piece of white fabric into ANYTHING that you want it to be. Just think about it...ANYTHING.
Start with a piece of plain white cloth, close your eyes, and dream. Then open them and get to work to make the transformation. It is a truly magical journey.
It is the potential to turn plain white cloth into fashion garments for the catwalk, decor items and soft furnishings for the home, corporate gifts and clothing, props and sets for the theatre...
It also holds the potential to teach children about cause and effect, chemistry, physics, art and their own innate creativity. Adults can find an outlet to express themselves or a way to earn an income from their handwork.
Best of all, it is FUN!
Children and adults enjoy the process. It crosses the line between different age groups, different genders and different races. Cloth is a global language than everybody can speak, regardless of where they have come from, what they have learned or where they are going.
Sometimes, when I speak about cloth to corporate men in suits, they look at me skeptically and say "This has nothing to do with us. Fabric is for women and fashion designers." I ask them the simple question "Would you leave the house in the morning without your clothes?"
"Of course not!" is the defensive response.
Whether you realise it or not, every human being has a much closer association with fabric than they might acknowledge. It is a part of our daily lives. It is part of being human.
Have a great day in full colour!
Kind regards

Thursday, August 19, 2010

METZ PRESS at HOBBY-X with Contemporary Dyecraft

We launched Contemporary Dyecraft at Hobby-X in March. Meet the authors behind the Metz Press books...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Performing Arts

Performing Arts and Visual Arts are closely linked. What would a theatre production be without the costumes and props, the coloured lighting, the make-up...?
I had the great privelege last weekend to attend Review Minimax at the State Threatre. Review Minimax is the brain-child of Sunet Wagner. She has a passion for the stage and has created this awesome platform where children at all levels can come and showcase their talents on a real stage, with a real audience and a very real production crew made up of some of the finest, most dedicated people in the entertainment industry.
More than 1300 students spilled across the stage in two days to present reviews, drama, dance, singing, comedy and acrobatics. Primary schools and high schools participated. Everybody is welcome. There is an Eistedford segment where the reviews are given advice by a team of Advisors and awarded trophies for the best performances. Then there is the Open Stage where anybody can perform in any way and just have fun. Kids came on for solo performances and others sang and danced in massive groups.
At the end, they all came on stage to do the Dance4Life dance. Dance4Life is a global organisation that is raising awareness about HIV and AIDS through dance interventions with the youth.
Learn more about these amazing organisations at
Have a great day in full colour!
Kind regards

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hobby-X Feedback

I taught six classes in three days and it was fabulous! The students were SO enthusiastic I could not help but have a wonderful time.
They learned how to print with found objects that they can find around their home and I think that they returned home after the class with new eyes.
I also taught them how to make their own hand carved lino blocks for printing. Although I favour textiles, these stamps can be used to print on paper, card, wood, leather, pvc, candles and many other surfaces.
The ladies enjoyed playing with colour and especially liked printing on the hand dyed base cloth that I supplied.
In between classes I spent my time at the Metz Press stand promoting my book, Contemporary Dyecraft (Metz Press). It has been available for seven months now and I still enjoy signing copies for my fans.
A big "THANK YOU!" to the Hobby-X organisers for putting together another quality event, and to Owen Calverly from TuCats (Craftwise Magazine) for orchestrating the classes.
To those of you who participated, you rock! And to those of you who did not make it to the event, we hope to see you there next year.
Have a great day in full colour!
Kind regards