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About Elisabeth, The Lansdowne House, and the colour blue

Elisabeth is a self employed artist, She was trained in Decorative Arts, She works with Natural dyes and Eco-prints. French born, she is based in Glasgow in Scotland where she runs her sustainable studio “The Lansdowne House”. From the old kitchen of her Victorian home she works, creates and teaches Natural dyes and Eco-Printing (during the Covid Crisis online live on zoom). To learn with her check her classes Here

“The True Colour of the Cotinus” is a global Eco-printing project created by French artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw in 2020 during the Covid crisis from her Glasgow studio.

Using the online platform Zoom and a dedicated Facebook group, she wanted to provide isolated Eco-printers from all over the world with a communal simple technique to follow.

By summer 2021 over 700 participants have taken part virtually and created blue prints from the Cotinus plant. Elisabeth is planning a live exhibition (or two) for 2022, She will be crowdfunding to support it.

They interact regularly in a dedicated Facebook group. They are located in all time zones.

Resilience and creativity were the project key focus, friendship and beautiful prints are the result.

If you want to take part in the project look here for future workshops or PDF methods for fabric and paper printing. Taking one workshop or obtaining one method will allow you in the group. https://thelansdownehouseofstencils.com/2021/09/01/the-true-colour-of-the-cotinus-how-to-make-blue-eco-prints-from-cotinus-leaves/

“The True Colour of the Cotinus” cards and calendars are Elisabeth’s own unique Eco-prints and help funding the ongoing project. Elisabeth is a self-employed full-time artist. She lives with her husband John, in Glasgow (Scotland) where she is known for her community projects (The Big Rose, The Big Banner…), in her urban garden she cultivates 5 Cotinus plants.

Elisabeth was trained in Decorative Arts by Christie’s and The University of Glasgow in the 1990’s. With strong connections to the Mackintosh Heritage, She pursued a career in the recreation of historic wall treatment and specialised in stencilling with a special emphasis on the Art Nouveau period. She is well known for her interpretation of Mackintosh’s The House for an Art Lover and her most recent recreation work of the Glasgow “Willows tea rooms” from 1903.

She has a strong interest in Community art and she has been running almost yearly programs involving the Community in Art projects, such as The Big Rose, (West of Scotland, Mackintosh Festival 2016) involving over 500 participants across 13 venues. The public was involved in stencilling large Mackintosh roses outdoors creating communal carpets outside Mackintosh buildings.

She was commissioned in 2015 to recreate some interior stencilling first designed in 1903 by designer and architect George Walton in Dunblane in Scotland.

Inspired by her regular travelling in South East Asia since 1995 she gradually moved into the use of more Eco techniques like Indigo, natural dyes and Ecoprinting. She is self trained but also catches specialised workshops with specialist artists such as Aboubakar Fofana for Indigo, Irit Dullman for Ecoprinting as well as learning from local wisdom she finds around her. She organises skill swaps with other artist as she believe we only learn well from teachers we feel passionate about. In 2020 she organised a skill swap in Thailand sharing her Eco-printing methods with some community of dyers and textile artists agains some of their local knowledge.

She runs The Lansdowne House her home based studio since 1990 and in turn has been using it as a private studio, as a school of stencilling and up-cycling and more recently as the online studio for her online live classes. She entertains a long term relationship with her pupils and regularly organises “get together” wether online live or in person.

2017 The Big Banner project saw 13 “Hand stencilled Roses banners” by groups of participants in public locations before an exhibition of those at The Lighthouse design center in Glasgow during the Mackintosh Festival

2019/2020 in Printing in Woodlands, she gathers the public an gardeners in the Woodlands Community garden to learn the art of Ecoprinting working outdoors. An exhibition of communal pieces takes place in the Glasgow Botanical garden in February 2020 with an open day of free crafts workshops.

In the summer of 2020, in the peak of the Covid crisis she launched “The True Colour of the Cotinus” a global Eco-printing project to test the colours you can obtain from the Cotinus (Smoke Bush) leaves. Set to test the prints on paper, in 2021 the emphasis has moved to fabric with another two online workshops. By mid 2021 over 400 participants are involved in sampling leaves on various target materials. Elisabeth comments “the emphasis is not the leaves, nor the prints… its about creating a focus for participants to connect with. The Cotinus is a great leaf to print and the colour blue obtained gives everyone a focus for attention. The creativity involved and the connection it has created is tremendous. The buzz among the group is well worth the hard work I ended up putting in the project. I hope this will culminate in a physical exhibition at some point.

When at home, Elisabeth works in a sustainable manner in the circular economy, recycling cloth gathered from the local BnB and using leaves from her local park. When purchasing cloth and dyes she invest in community of weavers/dye producers who can benefit from her orders.

She lives in Glasgow with her husband but her circle of friends, family and pupils is international… she says… “The World is my Village”.

She likes… travelling, cooking, gardening, and spending quiet times in her studio.

She is a member of the West of Scotland guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and Applied Art Scotland.

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LEARNING WITH ME

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR CLASS AND WORKSHOPS

I love teaching my craft, I teach the workshops below online live using the Zoom platform. If you are in the wrong time zone you can still benefit from the workshop by using the recording of the sessions I make, they are available for several weeks.

With each workshop I deliver written instructions and those are yours to keep. And support via a Facebook group private group. Finally most of the time I will offer a follow up show and tell where we can show our work and clear questions.

To book a space select your workshop and make a payment. You will receive a receipt and within a day or so a confirmation of your space. I am afraid that I am not able to offer refunds on online workshops but I will always try and offer you a space at an alternative date if your circonstances prevent you to complete a workshop on have committed to.

To read a full description of each workshop scroll down to the bottom past all the booking buttons ….

A LEAVES AND PAPER DIARY, MY YEAR LONG BOTANICAL PRINTING ON PAPER COURSE ONLINE beg. SEPTEMBER 2022

Perfect for beginners. In this course I will spend 12 months (12 sessions) teaching you all I know about Eco Printing on paper for Art, from target paper to method, mordant, botanics, printing paste… we will study how the process works and how you can program a great result after learning to understand your results. This is a repeat of 2021 course. With a mix of live online sessions and delivery of instructions by email. Each month provides a new technique. We communicate on zoom and via a FB page for support, there is ongoing conversations and a lot of learning. Small group only

£216.00

HAND PRINTED FABRICS USING BOTANICAL PASTES ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOP, starts on 9th October for 4 weeks

Starting on the 9th October at 2.30pm , this workshop online live is a collaboration between myself and Drussilla Cole an english Print maker and concentrates on printing patterns on fabric using Botanical pastes. You will learn all how to create some botanical pastes, use them and cure them, and about creating tools to print with from lino cutting to other more flexible blocks. This is perfect for beginners.

£216.00

ECOPRINTING ON PAPER FOR ART – THE PDF METHOD (SELF PACED WORKSHOP NO LIVE)

In this PDF instruction I will share with you my technique developed over several years of Ecoprinting on paper to get clear and colourful prints using Botanical material and Natural dyes. We will explore via the PDF text and a number of videos 3 methods (simmering in dyes, dyes and tannin blankets, Iron blanket, steaming with blankets, texture blankets) on a variety of paper using several natural dyes or tannins. You will learn to: – Select paper – Understand your leaves fresh and dried. – Understand mordants and dyes and extract your dyes from nature – Put together your equipment – Print your paper – Learning to discharge text or designs from your prints – Finish and seal your paper so you can use it for making books, putting on a frame, using for greeting cards… Will be delivered by email link in 24 hours of purchasing

£49.00

THE TRUE COLOUR OF THE COTINUS ON PAPER – SELF PACED METHOD (NO LIVE)

The True Colour of the Cotinus is a global online project I launched in 2020, it is about Ecoprinting the Cotinus leaves to obtain blue. The paper method was tested in 2021 and after two global online testing with 100 participants each. We use facebook to share results. This method gives you the final result and how to get Blue out of your own paper with a steaming method. It is best for art paper but will work for other versions . It is suitable for beginners … by buying this method you are in the project and will be able to access the Private Facebook group of over 500 participants to post your results and interact.

£25.00

THE TRUE COLOUR OF THE COTINUS ON FABRIC – SELF PACED METHOD (NO LIVE SESSIONS)

The True Colour of the Cotinus is a global online project I launched in 2020, it is about Ecoprinting the Cotinus leaves to obtain blue. The fabric method was finalised in 2021 after two global online testing with 100 participants each. We use facebook to share results. This method gives you the final result and how to get Blue out of your own leaves/fabric. It is best for silk and linen but will work for cotton and other material. It is suitable for beginners … by buying this method you are in the project and will be able to access the Private Facebook group of over 500 participants to post your results and interact.

£25.00

DYE AND STITCH A MEDITATIVE JOURNEY, ONLINE LIVE workshop starts on 8TH October 2022

This is a collaborative workshop between myself and Textile artist Suzanne Sikkerbol, to experience the mindfullness of stitching blue hand dyed cloth and its meditative effect. In two live sessions we will learn to set up an Indigo Vat from Natural Indigo and the beauty of the Natural vat, dye cloth and transform the result in a slow and meaningfully made object. The process will be informed by the slow technique and the importance of the material we will use. This is perfect for participants who like a sustainable process and for beginners. Was

£173.00

DYE AND STITCH A MEDITATIVE JOURNEY (INDIGO KIT FOR UK PARTICIPANTS)

An Indigo vat kit for the participants of this workshop who are in the UK, all ingredients but no equipment. This is for you if you want to take part and don’t know how to source your ingredients. Guidance will be given as far as equipment is concerned.

£27.50

MAKE A FERROUS VAT – ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOP on the 17 September at 2.30pm

This is an online workshop on setting up a Natural Indigo Ferrous vat. In a 3 hours live online on zoom session + instructions online and support group we will learn how to set up from home a 10 litre Ferrous vat suitable for dying Cellulose materials and Silk. I will share tips to maintain the vat and a couple of shibori folds for you to practise with. There is a starter pack of Organic Tamil Indigo available if you live in the UK – This is suitable for beginners

£55.00

Make a Ferrous Indigo Vat – Starter pack of Organic Tamil Indigo for UK participants, 17 Septembre

This is a starter pack allowing you to make a 10 L Ferrous vat (does not include the container, you will still need to find yourself a suitable container with a lid). It will include Natural Organic Tamil Indigo powder, ferrous and lime as well as some organic material samples to test your vat and a few ph strips to get you started.

£27.00

PRINT AND DIP, ONLINE WORKSHOP IN ECOPRINTING AND INDIGO DYEING for UK participants

NEW DATE TO BE COMMUNICATED This is an action packet online live workshop where you learn to Eco-print paper and Indigo dye it after setting up a hydrosulfate vat. You learn two skills in the demonstration and then set out at home to have a go. If you live in the UK you will receive a kit with the Indigo vat ingredients. Elsewhere look below. On zoom, 3 hours and suitable for beginners

£75.00

PRINT AND DIP, ONLINE WORKSHOP IN ECO-PRINTING AND INDIGO DYEING for overseas

SAME AS ABOVE NO STARTER PACK NEW DATE TO BE COMMUNICATED

£55.00

ECO PRINTING ON PAPER FOR ART ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOPS

30th July, 4pm. This is a 2 hours workshop during which I will teach you the first steps of Eco-Printing on paper for Art. It is for beginners with a strong interest in Eco printing and paper. We will look at mordants, basic dyes and the leaves. You will learn a unique way to get a strong and precise print. This technique is perfect for home use specifically if you dont have a studio space. If you want more… scroll up for the 12 months course

£38.50

MAKE BLACK INK ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOP – NEW DATE COMING

This is a one meet only workshop online live and part of the Black and White workshop above. We will meet and transform Oak gall tannin into the best three dimensionnal Black Ink. Then with ph modifiers we will transform its colour. And you will get tips for using it. There is a FB group available to communicating and sharing results

£50.00

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INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP AT THE BOTANICS 9th july at 12.30 till 4.30

Spend an afternoon in the glorious Kibble Palace of the Botanic garden of Glasgow learning to set up a Natural Indigo Vat, learning to use it to dye, making some Shibori fold and clamp pieces. We will also harvest some Fresh Japanese Indigo leaves from The dye garden #theindigoplot and learn how to dye silk with them. This is perfect for beginners but also good for more advanced participants

£60.00

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INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP IN THE BOTANICS 13 august 2022 at 12.30 noon for 4 hours

Spend an afternoon in the glorious Kibble Palace of the Botanic garden of Glasgow learning to set up a Natural Indigo Vat, learning to use it to dye, making some Shibori fold and clamp pieces. We will also harvest some Fresh Japanese Indigo leaves from The dye garden #theindigoplot and learn how to dye silk with them. This is perfect for beginners but also good for more advanced participants

£60.00

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BLUE AND WHITE PRINTS, RESIST PRINTING WITH INDIGO DYE

Spend 3 sessions learning how to create wonderful printed fabrics using a resist past method and and Indigo vat. We will learn how to set up an Indigo vat, learn to dye with it and then to create a multiple layer printed pieces using a resist paste technique (Soya/lime)

£162.00

INDIGO STORY, FOUR WEEKS ONLINE WORKSHOP IN PRINTING AND DYEING BLUE new date coming

A four weeks online workshop exploring the magic of the ferrous vat. We will explore setting up a vat, dyeing with it, creating a printing paste with the Indigo and discharging cloth dyed with it. This workshop is perfect for textile lovers, stitchers, packwork quilters. 4 sundays starting NEW DATE COMING A starter pack is available for UK participants or at extra shipping cost to overseas participants.

£162.00

INDIGO STORY STARTER PACK. (cost for UK participants, enquire of extra shipping cost)

Starter pack including Natural Indian Indigo paste, other ingredients, a screen for printing or discharge. This cost is for UK participants, If you order this pack and live elsewhere email me bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com and I will advise of shipping costs to you

£60.00

Botanical Printing for Art, a leaves and fibre day in Urban Glasgow

ON 6TH August at 11am till 4pm In the lovely Woodlands space in the Glasgow West end as a small group we will be exploring Botanical printing on paper and fabric with local scottish leves. This is perfect for beginners or already advanced participants. We will make Art work and many samples

£95.00

BOTANICAL PRINTING AND NATURAL DYE WEEK END WORKSHOP ONLINE NEW DATE FOR AUTUMN 2022

In this workshop over a week end NEW DATE OF 2022 AUTUMN you will learn how to prepare fabrics, and eco-print using blankets and natural dyes. This is perfect for beginners and is run in a condensed way for those who want to learn fast or are short of time. We will prepare/mordant/print and extract dye. It is very complete and i use a combined mordant which gives great results. This is ran live on zoom and recorded for replay for 4 weeks. It is suitable for beginners. We work on silk and linen. You can email me for a kit if you need help.

£162.00

Eco Printing on paper for Art online workshop

This is an online workshop on zoom. During a two hours session we will learn a simple Eco Printing technique for work on paper using a natural dye, simple like Onion skin or a more established one like Logwood. I will run the workshop live, it will be recorded and the video shared for 4 weeks, I will also share a PDF instructions. This is a simple but really effective technique to print both fresh and dried leaves. This workshop is perfect for beginners.

Black and White a four weeks technique using Tannin and Iron

This is a 4 weeks workshop online were we will explore the potential of using Oak gall tannin and tannin. We will learn how to use it to print background to Eco Prints, to transform it into an Ink, modify its colour using Ph shifts, we will make a printing paste out of it to use for screening, stencilling and stamping as well as a discharge to also use for printing. We will work through a progression of technique using the same two elements creating very unique pieces. The workshop is ran on zoom in 4 sessions and one show and tell session. All sessions are available via video replay and a PDF instructions will be available to participants.

This workshop is available for beginners as well as more advanced participants. There is a great scope for working in specific area each participant is interested in both in paper or fabric

BOTANICAL PRINTING AND NATURAL DYE WEEK END ONLINE WORKSHOP

This two days workshop is perfect for those who want to learn how to get clear Eco Prints on both cellulose fabric or silk using a natural dye for a clean background. For complete beginners and more advance printers. We will get to grips preparing your fabrics as well as mordanting them, extracting natural dyes, preparing blankets, selecting leaves and printing. Finally finishing our fabric to a high standard.

The sessions will be live on zoom and recorded before being shared for replay to participants for 4 weeks together with a pdf instructions. There is a starter pack available. We will use tannin and Logwood dye on silk, cotton and bamboo.

FELT AND PRINT A WEEK END OF ONLINE FELTING AND ECOPRINTING WORKSHOP

This is a collaboration workshop with Felting artist Ewa Kuczniac. In two sessions over two separate week ends we will learn to Nano felt some wool and Eco Print it as well as a piece of recycled wool using Eucalyptus leaves to create beautiful strong orange prints. With the completed wool you will have the chance to create a pouch for a tablet or a book.

This is the perfect workshop for a beginner who looks into making stunning prints. It is perfect for a winter time workshop when the other botanics are not yet there.

The two sessions will be ran on zoom with a video replay available for 4 weeks and a pdf instructions. We will meet for a glorious show and tell to share our results.

PRINT AND DIP AN ONLINE ONE SESSION ECOPRINTING AND INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP

This is an online workshop which combines two techniques, Eco printing and Indigo dyeing. In one session online of 3 hours we will Eco Print some leaves on paper, prepare an hydrosulfate Indigo vat and add Indigo to our prints. This workshop is ran online on zoom live and recorded for replay by the participants for up to 4 weeks, and a PDF instructions. This workshop is perfect for beginners, for multi media artists, to produce art work, greeting cards…

You will learn two techniques Eco printing and Indigo vat building.

PRINT AND STITCH AN ECO PRINTING AND STITCHING ONLINE WORKSHOP

This two sessions workshop is a collaborative workshop with Edinburgh bookbinder Cassandra Barron from Bookbinding with Cass. We will spend one live session getting to grips with Ecoprinting on paper using the gorgeous Sapanwood and tannin and iron on fabric and paper. It will be followed by bookbinding sessions via video links with Cassandra Barron. We will have a wonderful Show and Tell session to discuss our results. You will make 3 books using those two techniques and end up with a lot of additional Art work.

All sessions will be recorded and video recording will be available for replay.

This workshop is perfect for beginners, for book lovers and eco printers

INDIGO STORY, FOUR WEEK ONLINE WORKSHOP IN PRINTING AND DYEING BLUE

This is a four week online workshop for anyone in love with Indigo and mark making. We will learn to set up a ferrous vat and dyeing with it flat and shibori, we will use paste to resist the dye, turn Indigo into a printing paste, discharge it to create pattern. We will learn to finish our pieces and maintain our vat.

This is ran over 4 weeks on zoom with a video replay for participants to access for 4 weeks and a PDF instructions to keep.

This is perfect for textile lovers and a starter pack is available to UK participants or overseas at an extra shipping cost. It contains Organic Indian Indigo.

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From nothingness to nearly black … 7 shades of blue, Fermenting Indigo with Aboubakar Fofana… I came home in Bali !

I am a textile artist and a lover of blue and I teach Indigo dyeing in Scotland (my next Indigo event) on a regular basis, but I love learning myself and I believe I know so little compared with Master Indigo dyer Aboubakar Fofana so I went all the way to Bali last November to attend one of his workshops on Fermentation Indigo organised by Threads of Life Bali Its a very long way to go for a weeks workshop but The Threads of Life’s premises set in the Bebali dye garden are so well suited to Indigo dyeing that it was very well worth the effort.

I did think it would be interesting but I did not realise I would get this exceptional feeling of  “coming home” … I though it would be about blue… but it was about a beautiful process, mainly about a communion with nature and how you can understanding it by looking at it, smelling it, mixing it, waiting, recording it and off course accepting the result a beautiful vat dye called Indigo, blessing it, maintaining it and finally getting blue from it.

We were a small group of about 12 meeting on the first day of the workshop, such an international group, Rachel, Margot… from somewhere in Australia, Prairie from Thailand, someone from Bengladesh, two ladies from the US … many different expectations, many different expertise, one aim… learning from Aboubakar.

Him, a master of his Art in complete communion with the huge fermentation vats he creates out of African Indigo,  but also a tired traveller that morning, Bali customs had held him for many hours the night before to test the dried mud and the Indigo fermented balls he had brought in his travel bag as a true Alchemist style… may be they were looking for the secret potion they did not find… William Ingram who runs The Threads of Life would be our father and our scientist for the week. I though him as a “frustrated teacher” wanting to find the science behind each process… he makes my day every time he can explain the chemistry behind the magic. I did not get the chance to join a chemistry class in my young days and I am still trying to find out how things work in a recurring manner… Pung the chief dyer of the Bebali garden but also the director of the Bebali foundation  which supports artisans through Indonesia in keeping their techniques and their traditions. Pung is a constant source of information, a smiling source of information, profoundly involved in the local community and so proud of his team.

And we start… Aboubakar is very straight with us… don’t you think this is about Blue… its about you understanding the process… you will grind, mix, smell, stir, understand… make it happen, and if you are lucky you will get to see the fermented vat active… we did not… one week was not enough for the little fermented balls to get their magic going… but I have recorded the smell of African fermented indigo in my head for any future tries… and we went back to the grinding mill… Lets work with paste now, lets reduce… two reduced vats using the Fructose method… one with fructose, one with sugar cane, lets learn from the eruption of our slake lime… lets measure Ph, and temperature, let it happen… by tomorrow surely there will be some blue… one can hope…

But if there is not… the Bebali garden’s vats will do nicely (3 huge vats of 300 liters… yes yes monstrous huge vats…) !!!

Can we dye please… I have crossed half of the world to come and make some blue cloth… please can I dye now????  No yet says the Master… now you have to learn to clean and prepare your cloth… May be tomorrow… OHHH ! Sheer frustration…. 7 small squares of cloth are getting boiled and stirred in Ash water… May be tomorrow.

And today… we open the lids, and we stir, and we smell, and we take the temperature and the Ph… not yet says the Master…. but you can start with the Bebali vats… Pung said yes you can… but wait though… you have to first fit some nets at the bottom… you don’t want to disturb the bottom of the vats…

Please can we dye sir? My hands are aching to be blue and my nails are still so clean… I want to make pretty patterns on a scarf and take it home to show off…

Not yet first you have to master your shades… its not about the pretty pattern its not about the blue… you still don’t understand you silly children its about the process… you must learn the process…

Look now this is what I want you to do… you must dip your squares of purest cotton (now ever so clean) in this vat once, twice, three times as many times as it takes but you must have 7 shades… starting with white and then the colour of nothingness (somewhere between white and blue… almost nothing but still something on this cloth… its beautiful )  … and finish at almost black… its still blue not quite black but so dark the uneducated eye would think it is black…

How many times please sir? As many times as you need to… you will have to stop talking now, you will have to concentrate, you will have to slow down and breathe gently and listen to the water floating in the vats while counting, you have to take turn and learn to wait, you have to learn to observe, your 7 shades will gradually be born, you have to follow a gentle pattern, they have to play blue like a melody, no discordance no big jumps, the right progression…

Will this not take forever sir? I have dipped this cloth at least 15 times, my mind is so tired… please Master am I there yet?

Well you tell me … it is your cloth after all and you have to learn to play your own music… Do you like this tune ? Are you happy with your own result… I cant tell you it is about you liking your own work !

Ohhhh! Master I don’t want to make a pretty pattern any more now I want to play the most delicate melody with my blue cloth… please can I have more time?

Well I am afraid a great melody is only as good as the paper it is written on … if your cloth is not “finished” properly it will not last… you need to rinse, rinse, and rinse again… until your hands are aching from it. And then only you will be able to say if you love your Melody…. And then you can make pretty patterns… Lets rinse more…

Now you can make pretty patterns… When we are all done we will listen to every one’s melody… Look is it not so beautiful????

Never have I achieved so much and so little at a workshop, this time no suitcase full of Artwork, one beautiful scarf stitched and dipped in an interesting Shibori pattern… a beautiful loose weave cotton woven in Bali and part of the From Farmer to Fabric program  of the Threads of Life… I know now every time I will wear my scarf someone in Bali will benefit from my purchase. But more importantly 7 little squares of beautifully dyed Blue cloth… perfect record of my progression on a process taught to me by Aboubakar…. I feel so proud of them, they are the proof of my understanding of the process… I am so very happy…

On the last day we displayed all our melodies on a table and surprise… all melodies are perfect but still they are different ever so slightly they are all so stunning… see for yourself.

This was such a long way to go but I have learned so much, a new technique, playing music with blue, an infinite patience… I feel in complete communion with a group of dyers, with a community, with even a Master dyer.

My hands did get so blue at the end… it took several weeks for my nails to be fully clean… I will cherish my squares of blue for ever they are by far my most difficult piece of work and I am so proud of them.

Aboubakar Fofana teaches Indigo at The Thread of Life every year. I highly recommend it…. but not if you want to make many pretty things… only join in if you want to be in true communion with the Blue Stuff.

Love

Betty xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I love my Journey as an Eco Artist !

The other morning I checked my art supplies, I though they were a bit low before the next day workshop and so… time to replenish… on my way to … The Kelvingrove Park…. in the West end of Glasgow, walking distance from my studio, it is lovely and a little hub of nature in the centre of the city. I took a lovely morning walk, I had a chat with the dog walkers, found some lovely autumn leaves, horse chestnut, some oak, some dried maples all in my large bag. I even stopped by An Clachan the friendly coffee shop by the children’s play park. They make a wonderful coffee and a great flap jack. After that… I went home and Eco Printed.

How about that for work life balance !

Eco Printing is a wonderful creative technique at every level.  Beginners to my workshops can produce beautiful pieces from early days, and I love how versatile the technique can be wether you are an artist, you love textile, or work with mix media, the prints you make help you mapping your creativity. Different seasons, different colours, different leaves or printing surfaces, different colours… Some call it magical but really it is chemistry !

For myself I love the resist papers I get, the negative prints so to speak… the paper blankets which give me beautiful rusty images. They are unpredictable but always beautiful.

I am an Eco Artist and I love my journey, no online shopping for me, no fighting the motorway traffic to the local Craft shops, no huge bill for specialist paint… My main ingredient… Scottish leaves  ! so when I need some… I just take a walk in the park. How amazing is that !

I will be running my next week end Eco Printing next October in my own Studio in Glasgow details https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eco-print-your-scottish-leaves-week-end-tickets-63310032010 We will be drinking great coffee and printing Scottish leaves in my Big Aluminium Pot, we will keep cosy by the fire and make amazing and unique prints. If you are a beginner you will be blown away by the result, if you have printed before… join me for more creative fun.

I hope to see you there.

Love

Betty x

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Workshops, Contact details…

Join my mailing list if you would like to hear about any new events… courses/workshop I set up

You can contact me @ bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com. I record my activities on my Face Book page  and post loads of photos on my  Instagram page

“The workshop and your tuition was inspiring. I went home created an art space and began designing…”

My name is Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw, French born Glasgow based eco up-cycler, I studied Decorative Arts with Christies. I worked with Heritage stencilling and have recreated schemes from the Mackintosh Heritage in Scotland. I travel to Asia every year and I have developed from my trips a love for Eco Techniques. Indigo dyeing, Eco dyeing, Eco Printing. I started my Eco journey in northern Thailand with lovely ladies from the Hmong Hill tribes.

I train with the best in the land Eco Printing with Irit Dulman from Israel, Indigo with Aboubakar Fafo from Mali. I am relentless testing my art.

I am passionate about sharing my skills, here in the UK but also in Asia where I run sharing skills program… this year I visited Mann craft  in Sakon Nakhon, and Nussara Tiengkate from Banraijaisook  from Chiangmai to learn from them about Indigo while sharing my Eco Printing in their community.

I share my skills in Scotland and elsewhere running workshops and doing collaborative work. I team with local galleries to share my art pieces. In my studio there is always an Indigo vat on the go and a pile of leaves ready to be Eco Printed.

JOIN ME ON A WORKSHOP IN PERSONAL OR ONLINE 

During COVID19 I am offering some starter packs in the techniques I teach… those will offer all ingredients you need and a pdf/video tuition to the participants. Those are available at any time and the pdf is available for multiple uses.

NEW ONLINE CLASSES:

During Covid19, I am setting up some online classes to allow you to keep your creativity flowing. I am using the platform zoom as a support for the classes. You need a lap top or a smart phone to access via a weblink I will send you. It is a very simple process and will allow us to keep interacting in a friendly manner while you keep learning and creating…

11 June I will be running an eco printing workshop in French on zoom  “Atelier Virtuel d’Impression Vegetale sur tissus et papier Tickets

12 June I will run a bookbinding workshop for eco printer and mono printers on paper Tickets

19 June I will run a Eco Printing workshop on how to create textured background for Eco Prints Tickets

25 June I will run a workshop on how to set up an Indigo vat and to dye Shibori… this is a two sessions (25 and 26 June at mid day)  workshop Tickets

26 June I will run one workshop on how to Eco Print on paper workshop Tickets

 

For those workshops you need access to a computer and a good speed internet to be able to use it for streaming. If you have any questions contact me.

 

FACE TO FACE WORKSHOPS:

6 august for 8 evenings, Upcycling Furniture workshop, learn to recycle your furniture and the way to prepare it before hand. Over eight weeks you learn various techniques including stencilling, decoupage, chalkpaint… to book here

11th august for 8 evenings, Upcycling Furniture workshop, learn to recycle your furniture and the way to prepare it before hand. Over eight weeks you learn various techniques including stencilling, decoupage, chalkpaint… here

6 August for 4 afternoon, Blue Prints, 4 weeks workshop printing Botanical and Blue, a 4 session workshop using 4 mark making techniques using the colour blue or botanics like cyanotype, eco printing, Logwood dyeing, Indigo Shibory, perfect for stitchers, quilters, multimedia crafters… beginners… Book here

26-27 September – Eco Print your Scottish leaves on Silk week end (this will include some basic Eco Printing information)  in my Glasgow Based studio Book here

24-25 October – Eco-Print, Dye and Stitch a creative workshop Week end in Edinburgh, Granton’s Hub. If you want to read about it and book look Here

18th September, Eco Printing day workshop in Glasgow, A special day for embroiderers, quilters and anyone interested in textile art. Book here

19-20 september 2020 Indigo Blue retreat in Glasgow in my West end based Studio If you want to read about it or book look Here

Residential workshops

I teach creative residential retreats at Gartmore House in Scotland in the Stirling area If you want to read about them or book please check their sites Here 

Summer School 2020 (for the moment this class is still running)

I will be teaching a 4 days summer school in Lamlash Arran in the Summer 2020 with Cassandra Barron, we will Eco dye, Eco Print, Indigo dye and Bookbind. This is the perfect retreat for creative participants who want to carry an all around project. Only 10 participants will take part and we will use inspiration from our surrounding. If you would like to pre-book look here  If you would like more information email me  bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

Textile Trip to Thailand 2020

I will be leading a 12 days textile tour to Thailand starting on the 28th October 2020.

We will visit 3 cities, specialised textile markets, meet some communities and textile artists and local wisdom keepers, we will take workshops in Indigo, Natural dyes, weaving… we will visit Indigo country and experiment the Festival of the Lights in Chiangmai. I hope that you will want to join my small group of 6 travellers.  If you would like information about the itinerary and to book please email me bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

ECO PRINTING

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Eco Printing is the technique of contact printing using Botanical material it does not involve any additional paint or colour. I run regular one and two days workshops in that technique.

INDIGO DYEING AND SHIBORI

I use Indigo Dye to create sharp patterns on cloth using the Japanese technique of Shibori. Folding and clamping, dip dyeing … I run regular one and two days workshops using that technique.

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UP-CYCLING FURNITURE (booking details above) 

Week end and block of 8 evening classes in Glasgow, and regular one and two days workshops in Edinburgh with The Remakery

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STENCILLING

One day workshop

I am running Discovering Mackintosh stencilling workshops in Glasgow, we visit a Mackintosh Property to look at some heritage stencilling before spending the afternoon learning the technique. Small group.  Dates and booking details above

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PRIVATE COURSES

I can organise private courses in stencilling or up cycling furniture, Eco printing and Indigo as well as Team day out, Birthday parties, I regularly work with schools. Email me @ bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com for detail.
Stencils in the Mackintosh style are available here

Facebook page The Lansdowne House Mackintosh stencils

Instagram page Here and Here

Twitter : Here

My Studio:

In the fashionable West end of Glasgow you will find just a short way away from the University and its park, a lovely crescent with large residents gardens. Around those green heavens, Victorian tenements flats and large town houses have been standing for over 160 years offering spacious accommodation and working spaces to the residents of the area.

Its a lovely, green, quiet environment where we have set up roots a long while ago and it is there that in the stone floor workshop with the roaring fire in the winter and the fresh patio in the summer I design my stencils, I wax painted furniture for my clients. This is where I run workshops and design special projects.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his Art Nouveau (Glasgow Style in Glasgow) designs caught my interest many years ago and stencilling has always been my preferred technique and I will offer you my expertise for any project you have in mind.

Children classes:

I can organise stencilling classes for any size of party and I have experience in working with groups and classes.

I offer:

– ready made stencils in the style of Mackintosh, you can find those on Here just email me on bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com with your requests.

– I will design on commissions for you, for any design email me on bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

– I offer a commission service and will stencil your interior, office etc… for details email me on bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

finally if you can’t find what you are looking for just drop me a line.

Happy stencilling.

Betty xx

My Indigo diaries 2022 – The Indigo plot (late June) news – Planting the Indigo and – Meet the growers … Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw

June has come and is almost gone in Glasgow, the weather is finally warm and we have a lot of sun, and our Japanese Indigo, Woad, Flax, Madder, Genista plants are in the ground at #theindigoplot. They are growing strong and the Indigo pigment is starting showing in the green leaves of the Indigo plants. I feared slugs attack but they have not come.

We had a fantastic planting day two weeks ago with some volunteers coming to help, all plants went in the ground and we even fond some time to make a few blue shibori prints on cotton using a quick Indigo vat. The sun was shining and #theindigoplot came alive.

UPCOMING INDIGO WORKSHOPS IN JULY AND AUGUST:

Our next event will be an afternoon Indigo workshop in the Botanical Kibble Palace. One in July FIND INFO HERE and one in August FIND INFO HERE During those sessions we will set up Indigo vats, dye Shibori pieces and use fresh Japanese Indigo leaves to create blue yarn.

MEET THE MAKER :

Over the past couple of months I have introduced some home growers but I think it is time I introduce myself as a grower.

ELISABETH VIGUIE CULSHAW – TEXTILE ARTIST, NATURAL DYER, GROWER OF DYE PLANTS.

Who are you?      Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw

What do you do ?  I am a textile artist based in the West end of Glasgow (Scotland), I run a sustainable studio and work with natural dyes and botanical prints. I am passionate about Indigo in all forms. I teach in person and online classes in Indigo dyeing, Botanical printing. I love community projects, involving many to share creative tasks.

I lead #thetruecolourofthecotinus project. A global online Botanical printing project involving over 500 participants worldwide.

I initiated #Theindigoplot a natural dye project. A natural dye garden in the grounds of the Glasgow Botanical garden. There I have planted 4 types of Japanese Indigo, some Woad

What is your connection with dye plants and Indigo? I have been using dye plants and natural Indigo for a good few years but in 2021 I started growing them first in my own urban garden. When travelling to South East Asia I have built up a strong connection with Indigo dyeing and I have practiced there, vat building and pigment extraction. In 2022 I have started #theindigoplot a natural dye garden in the grounds of the Glasgow Botanical garden. From seed to colour is the idea behind the garden. Educating the visitors to how colours in natural dyed cloth are created.

Where will it grow and how will it be used? In 2022 I will be growing dye plants both in my home based urban garden, in box beds for my own personal use in my studio practise and in the Indigo plot. There I will be growing Japanese Indigo (4 types), Woad, Madder, Genista, Weld, and some dye flowers as well as Flax. I want to give visitors to the garden a chance to view the plants and experiment with them via workshops and demonstrations during the summer season. I will be running online and in person workshops on Indigo and natural dye techniques.

On the 10/11th of September during The True Colour of the Cotinus exhibition I will be demonstrating natural dyes in the Glasgow Botanical Kibble palace. On the 18th of September as part of the Glasgow Doors open days a visit of the garden will be offered together with a demonstration of dyeing with Fresh leaves.

For information about events in The Indigo Plot check the FB group https://www.facebook.com/The-Indigo-Plot-at-the-Botanics-100479995960184

You can also follow the growth of the dye garden by following my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/bettysbeautifullife/

My Indigo diaries 2022 – The Indigo plot (late May) news – Meet the growers … Deborah

The Indigo plot at the Botanics is going live this Saturday with a planting event https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/japanese-indigo-planting-day-at-the-indigo-plot-at-the-botanics-tickets-330506974257 If you are in the West of Scotland there is still time to join in the fun, You should book a space, it is free but we want to be able to contact you in case there is a change of plan.

We are very excited to see our little plants getting stronger and stronger and ready to fend for themselves in The Botanical Garden. This Saturday we will plant Japanese Indigo, Woad plants and Flax seeds. A very exciting time … I hope you will visit in the summer if you are around. But event if you cant be here in person I want to share the project with you. I hope it will inspire you to grow dye plants in your own surrounding and learn to use them in a sustainable manner to perhaps up-cycle some of your garments?

As well as growing plants in the grounds of The Botanical Garden I wanted to share further afield and I recruited 24 home growers who wanted to give this a go. I share some seeds with most of them and regularly we are coming together on zoom to catch up with our progress. They are gardeners, dyers, artists, or just simply colour lovers … I have asked them to introduce themselves and this month we are discovering Deborah Gray a textile lover and like me a full time self employed artist from the West of Scotland and a wool lover whose natural dying is very close to nature. I met Deborah through my online teaching and we have connected very well indeed. I love her sustainable approach and her deep connection with nature. Deborah set up a dye garden in Oban (Scotland) where she grows a number of dye plants. She grows Indigo and Woad in it.

She talks about her love for a sustainable practise and her work below, all photos are Deborah’s: (photos and words are copyright of Deborah Gray 2022)

Who are you?      Deborah Gray

What do you do ?  I’m a textile artist based in Oban, on the west coast of Scotland. Much of my work reflects the connection between land(scapes) and the materials which grow there – fibres and dye-plants. I am also a tutor, teaching spinning, knitting and natural dyeing both here in Scotland and internationally.  

I am Lead Artist for the EcoCreative Cluster project at The Rockfield Centre, Oban.

What is your connection with dye plants and Indigo? I have been growing and using dye plants since the early 1980’s, including Woad and Japanese Indigo.  I am growing Woad, Weld, Madder and some other dye-plants in my own garden as well as some plants for botanical printing.

In 2021 with a small group of volunteers I established a dedicated dye garden in the grounds of The Rockfield Centre as part of the EcoCreative Cluster project, and we grew and dyed with our first crop of Woad, as well as many other dye plants. We have about 20 different dye-plants in the dye garden. The EcoCreative Cluster project this year will create artworks for The Rockfield Centre themed on the Celtic tree alphabet, using natural dyeing, botanical printing and work using natural pigments on parchment (to be exhibited in January) as well as having workshops and a second series of on-line Artist Conversations with international artists who use natural dyes and materials in their practice.

Where will it grow and how will it be used? This year I am growing Woad at home, and we are growing both Japanese Indigo and Woad for the dye garden. We are growing two types of Japanese Indigo – the long leaf variety and the round leaf variety, and I hope to have enough to compare the dye potential of the two types. The round leaf variety has been much slower to develop so far. The seedlings are still in pots on my sunniest windowsill, but they will move to the dye garden’s cold frames by the end of May and be planted out in a raised bed around the middle of June. The Woad seeds have been planted directly into a bed – they are on the shadier side of the garden this year as I move the plants around the plot each year. Last year’s Woad plants are now about 1.5 metres tall and in full flower, so we should get a good harvest of seeds.

In August, as part of an exhibition at The Rockfield Centre (19th – 29th) I will be doing daily dyeing demonstrations using plants from the dye garden and if the Japanese Indigo is ready by then I will use some. I will also have an indigo dyeing day in September. Last year and earlier this year I ran some Tatakizome (plant hammering) workshops and used Woad leaves successfully, so we may do the same with Japanese Indigo. Depending on how well the plants grow and how much we can harvest I may experiment with drying or freezing leaves for later use and making indigo pigment.

For more information about the EcoCreative Cluster project and dye garden go to Eco Creative Cluster — The Rockfield Centre and follow #ecocreativecluster and #therockfieldcentre on Instagram

Please tag  @deborah.gray7   www.deborahgraytextiles.co.uk

#TheIndigoPlot at the Botanics

TO JOIN THE INDIGO DYE WORKSHOPS AND DEMONSTRATION SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

The Indigo Plot at the Botanics is a small dye plants garden in the grounds of the Glasgow Botanical Garden in Scotland (UK). Curated by Textile artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw in the spring of 2022, Japanese Indigo (4 varieties), Woad, Weld, Genista, Madder, and Flax are planted, I want to educate and share with the public. Information about planting, growing and using dye plants to created sustainable colour for textile fibre will be shared during the following 24 months.

Below are images about my own dye garden in 2021

My inspiration for dye gardens comes from my Asian travels over the past 15 years.

Out of the visit in 2019 to my Thai friend Mann’s craft dye garden in Sakhon Nakhon (Northern Thailand) I retain a strong sense of belonging. Grand daughter of a French farmer I have always had this attraction for planting but living in Urban Glasgow for the last 30 years have not given me a chance to put this to practise . In his garden, Mann grows rice and other vegetables but also, Indigofera Tinctoria, and many other dye plants. He harvest them and and uses them sustainably in his process with textile.

Below images about Mann’s Indigo dye garden in Northern Thailand

In may 2022 I met Lottie Delamain the garden designer for the fashion revolution “Textile Garden” at the 2022 Chelsea flower show and she shared with me her intense liking for a similar garden in North Vietnam years ago. There is a sense of peace and belonging coming from them. My chosen location for my own dye garden is in the Glasgow Botanical garden, a garden set up by Victorian fathers of the City in the 1870’s to enlighten and educate about plants. My plot is at the top of the garden by the medicinal, dye and herb gardens. It used to be the physical garden, a space where plants were referenced and grown for educative purpose. Such a suitable space.

“From seeds to colour” is a concept that sustainable natural dyers are embracing by growing and foraging for locally grown plants to create a colour pallet in the shades of the rainbow. When talking about dyes, I wanted to pay respect to a 17th century French reformer of the use of Natural dyes. Colbert minister to Louis XIV in his reforms aimed to separate the “Grand Teint dyes” (colourfast dyes) and the “Petit Teint dyes” (more ordinary dyes which sometimes are not as colourfast and need over-dying), today many are confused about the difference between dyes and colours and many novice dyers are using food items such as “Red Cabbage” as a source of dye… those are not dyes but merely fugitive food colour which should be kept to the kitchen. In my garden most plants are “Grand Teint” and I will aim to educate the visitor to that effect. In dye workshops I will use a variety of Natural dyes to create rainbow colours. (See below photos of some of the colours achieved).

I want to produce the colours blue with visitors, participants and volunteers, through growing and processing Japanese Indigo and Woad. But some other traditional dye plants such as Madder, Weld, which are “Grand Teint” and will add other plants such as dye flowers which produce “Petit Teint” dyes. No space will be given in this garden to fugitive dye plants.

The idea of sharing the experience with a group of people made me recruit some volunteers to prepare the grounds, help with the planting and the maintenance of the garden. Some events are due to take place during the summer. Natural dye workshops and demonstrations are planned for early summer, other events are planned too. I will be able to share with your group if you have a desire to discover about Natural dyes. Be in touch. If you click the links below you will read about the experience of some of those growing with me:

Meet Deborah from Oban

Meet Nicky from Stirlinshire

My first choice of plant is Persicaria Tinctoria (Japanese Indigo), it is a well suited Indigo plant that will stand Scottish weather. I have grown it in 2021 in Urban Glasgow with a lot of success, in this blog post you can read the story https://thelansdownehouseofstencils.com/2022/02/11/from-seeds-to-blue-in-the-covid-year-of-2021-i-grew-japanese-indigo-in-scotland/. For 2022 I have recruited a number of home growers to share the experience. In the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/The-Indigo-Plot-at-the-Botanics-100479995960184 you will be able to see their regular update. 25 at home growers with very different background… gardeners, natural dyers, textile artists, Artist… each of them growing 25 plants.

Out of Persicaria you can get a beautiful blue… FRESH LEAVES DYEING AND METHODS WILL BE SHARED WITH PARTICIPANTS . Woad will be a great contrast with a softer blue. Below are images of some pieces dyed with Indigo pigment.

I will be running two workshops about Indigo vat building and dyeing as well as using Fresh leaves Indigo in order to create blue on silk. You can book a space below. The sessions will be ran in the Glasgow Botanical Garden – Kibble Palace both time and are suitable for beginners… I will be offering a visit to The Indigo Plot on the same day.

Indigo Dyeing workshop at The Glasgow Botanics – 9th July 2022 from 12:30 to 4:30

Elisabeth started growing Japanese Indigo in Glasgow in 2021 during the pandemic and in 2022 she started The Indigo Plot project which involves growing Japanese Indigo in the grounds of The Glasgow Botanical garden as well as joining forces with 20 “at Home growers in Scotland” . The aim is to share experiences and growing/dyeing tips. During the workshop she will share with you how to set up an Indigo vat from Natural Indigo Pigments from Indian origins. She will share tips on how to maintain it and revive it. You will dye samples of recycled cotton/linen using Shibori folds and recycled household items to create beautiful patterns. You will get the opportunity to create a “cushion size” piece to take home. Finishing techniques will be demonstrated to make sure your own dyed pieces do not crock and vat management will be discussed.

£60.00

Indigo Dyeing workshop at The Glasgow Botanics – 13th August 12.30pm to 4.30pm

Elisabeth started growing Japanese Indigo in Glasgow in 2021 during the pandemic and in 2022 she started The Indigo Plot project which involves growing Japanese Indigo in the grounds of The Glasgow Botanical garden as well as joining forces with 20 “at Home growers in Scotland” . The aim is to share experiences and growing/dyeing tips. During the workshop she will share with you how to set up an Indigo vat from Natural Indigo Pigments from Indian origins. She will share tips on how to maintain it and revive it. You will dye samples of recycled cotton/linen using Shibori folds and recycled household items to create beautiful patterns. You will get the opportunity to create a “cushion size” piece to take home. Finishing techniques will be demonstrated to make sure your own dyed pieces do not crock and vat management will be discussed.

£60.00

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BLUE AND WHITE PRINTS – ONLINE PRINT RESIST TECHNIQUE AND INDIGO DYE

From 17th September at 2pm for 3 hours and thereafter weekly online on zoom. Spend 3 weeks learning to create beautiful printed fabric using a resist paste technique, stencils and a Natural Pigment Indigo vat. We will learn how to set up a Ferrous vat, maintain it and use it to create multicolour printed fabric. This can be a beginners workshop or a more advance participant. For more information email me on bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

£162.00

The plants we are growing at the Plot:

  • Persecaria Tinctoria (japanese Indigo), a South East Asian plant with large leaves, the pigment can be found in the leaves and it grows well in climate country like Scotland. We grow 4 varieties (Long leaves, Senbon, Maruba or broad leaves, Kojkoko) about 500 plants, we will harvest during the summer 2022 to extract pigment, dye with the fresh leaves techniques.
  • Isatis Tinctoria (Woad) an ancient plant used in the West to also produce blue pigment. It is a bi-anual but only produces pigment the first year. We will dye wool from fresh leaves vat.
  • Flax, Linum, a grass that produces linen. We will be growing a good few plants to extract the fiber. I hope we will be able to spin it and weave.
  • Weld, a traditional yellow dye plant also a Grand teint.
  • Genista (reseda) for Yellows
  • Madder or Rubbia Tinctorium or a traditional root plant (Grand teint) used to create a huge range of red shades
  • Dye Flowers (coreopsis, dyers camomile…)

And below the colours we will be dyeing with them:

On the 18th of September we will run a garden visit and a demonstration of using the fresh leaves Indigo. This will be an afternoon for the Glasgow Doors Open days. You wont be able to book a ticket before August but you can register to get news from my Eventbrite platform and you will get an alert…

For booking a free space please just look HERE

I hope that you will be taking part in the activities of the dye garden…

If you would like to register as a volunteer to water or tend the garden please be in touch bettysbeautifullife@gmail.com

Please be in touch or post in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/The-Indigo-Plot-at-the-Botanics-100479995960184

Happy blue dyeing..

Betty x