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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

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 usinge 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. April 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 12th february 2022

New date to be communicated 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

£162.00

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

New date to be communicated. 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 12 March, 4pm to 7 pm

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, 12 March

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

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 9th April 2pm to 5pm UK time

£75.00

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

SAME AS ABOVE NO STARTER PACK 9th April 2pm to 5pm UK time

£55.00

ECO PRINTING ON PAPER FOR ART ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOP FOR UK PARTICIPANTS

On the 3rd April 4pm for 2 hours , 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

£35.00

BLACK AND WHITE ONLINE WORKSHOP LIVE IN TANNIN AND IRON PRINTING Starts 6th February

A 4 weeks workshop (4 Sundays) from 10 am to 1pm starting (new date to be communicated) online with zoom to learn to make the most out of Oak gall tannin and iron, we print, make ink, make printing paste and discharge fabric and paper. A starter pack is available (see below) for UK participants for overseas enquire on postage costs.

£162.00

BLACK AND WHITE WORKSHOP STARTER PACK

Starter pack for UK participants of the Black and White workshop … contains Oak gall, ferrous sulfate, and all other ingredients you need for the 4 processes as well as a printing screen, for overseas orders please enquire in postage costs

£55.00

MAKE BLACK INK ONLINE LIVE WORKSHOP – 13th February 10am to 1pm

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

INDIGO STORY, FOUR WEEKS ONLINE WORKSHOP IN PRINTING AND DYEING BLUE starting 12th March 2022 –

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 12th March for 4 weeks UK time 4pm to 7pm 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

INDIGO DIARIES – FROM SEEDS TO BLUE – Online workshop about Indigo vats making and Japanese Indigo growing

This is a collaborative workshop between participants and tutor, starting in the beginning of February and the end of Septembre, we will connect and start our workshop by a talk about Indigo, and over the next few months we will set up a ferrous and a fructose vat, we will grow Japanese Indigo and when ready we will dye with its fresh leaves. During the waiting time I will share some sustainable techniques to use your Indigo in the best way wether it is powder Pigment or the one you grew yourself. Via meetings online live on zoom to Diary entries circulated by emails this course wants you involved.

£162.00

BOTANICAL PRINTING AND INDIGO DYE ON FABRIC Online live workshop starting beginning of May for 4 months

In this 4 months workshop we will compare different mordants, dyes and leaves when Eco-printing on fabric (Silk) and use Indigo vats to enhance it. We will meet once a month and additional instructions will be shared by email. There is a FB group to exchange and share results This workshop is running over 4 months, online live and we will compare the traditional mordanting methods with the combined to Eco-print on silk. We will learn to set up Indigo vat and will over dye our prints to learn to understand which vat to use and how… This is not for complete beginners… but for inquisitive minds.

£220.00

BOTANICAL PRINTING AND NATURAL DYE WEEK END WORKSHOP ONLINE LIVE 28/29 MAY 2022

In this workshop over a week end (28/29 MAY 2022 PM) 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 April news – Meet the growers … Nicky

24 Home growers have embarked on that blue path of growing Japanese Indigo in Scotland with me. Small quantities but a big connection. We hope to grow plants, dye blue but also create connections between us and nature, between us as growers, farmers, dyers… I have asked them to write a few words to introduce themselves and talk about their journey as first time Indigo growers.

Please meet Nicky… I met her through my online teaching of botanical printing. She volunteered early and wanted to take part for her own personal reason… read for yourself.

“Hello, I am Nicki Wilkins, (writer, artist, home educator, soul midwife/mentor), living near Dundee, on the east coast of Scotland, and I will be growing my indigo plants at my allotment plot on the west side of Dundee Law with the most beautiful view of the Lomond hills in Fife and the River Tay.

I have been chasing blue (or blue has been chasing me) for most of my life, but it was when my mother died in 2013, and I began to find all her knitted blue blankets tucked away in her home, that I started a poetic relationship with blue. I then began writing about the way the colour blue motifs my midlife journey. My memoir, This Slender Blue Thread, is why I am part of this growing indigo project. I like working with blue!

As an eco-artist, working with the natural materials I forage, I’ve dabbled in printing, cyanotypes, indigo vat building, and currently I am working with wild clay documenting my menopausal journey.

My art practice is grounded in my relationship with the natural world around me, and I enjoy working with plant materials from seed to colour. While I plan on exploring indigo dyeing with paper (the poet in me wants blue paper!), someday I hope to make my own indigo pigment to colour my wild clay balls (dorodangoes=Japanese mud balls).

I like the idea of mapping indigo growing across Scotland and seeing and watching how others work with blue. And just today I got a chance to say hello to my first indigo seedlings! Just thinking about how they carry blue makes me smile.   Come visit me on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/nickiwilkins

My Indigo diaries 2022 – Day 24 – Planting Japanese Indigo seeds with a group of “Home” growers in Scotland

On day 24 of my Indigo diaries 2022 I feel so happy about my 1500 planted Indigo seeds so far. From growing in a raised bed in my back garden in 2021, this year I am starting growing an Indigo Plot in the Glasgow Botanical garden and that is definitively upscaling. But I am very excited about the adventure. Off course it means loosing control of the close by site, growing on a bigger scale, in different grounds… a lot of changes. But the great reward will be the sharing of the result. Leaves and dyeing will be dong in a more community level. For that reason I have put a call out for some volunteers who want to share the work and the learning. Advertised in Scotland via Social media and various groups. And 25 people have come forward. Some will help, some will grow at home.

Most of the seeds I planted back in march have germinated and are growing steadily. Strong and tall they are not yet showing their leaves but some really good green tops. An other couple of weeks I will be transplanting them into individual pots and start preparing the grounds at the Glasgow Botanical Garden. But for this i need a helping hand. I am searching for a team of volunteers who will help with the digging, planting, up keeping and then dyeing…

But in the meantime I have found a team of 21 Scottish growers who will join me on the adventure and this post is for them… They come from the 4 corners of Scotland, Mallaig, Edinburgh, Lewis, Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, the Borders etc… and they are artists, nature lovers, vegetable growers, weavers, and have volunteered a little bit of space to grow Japanese Indigo alongside me. We will share notes, exchange on the process and when the leaves are ready we will learn to process the leaves to use the pigment.

This morning I have sent out to each of them 50 seeds of Persicaria Tinctoria (Japanese Indigo) of the Senbon variety. In a few days we will have an information meeting on zoom to get to know each other, talk about the project and learn about how to grow it.

But for now some basic instruction on how to plan Japanese Indigo seeds to get them to germinate:

You need:

  • Some planting trays with small holes (around 5 x 5 cms) that will sit on top of a watering trays.
  • Some planting compost
  • Some Japanese Indigo seeds (multiple of 5)
  • A light/warm corner to seat your trays for a few weeks (out of the draft)
  • Some small pots for transplanting your seeds when they are big enough to mature outside (green house/cold frame).
  • A corner in the garden with a good light space that will get a lot of sun and near a water access, Indigo likes a lot of water to grow… a lot of sunlight for pigment.

How to proceed to get germination:

1 – Add a good layer of compost into each holes of the planting tray. Use a little glass upside down to push the compost down nice and compact. Use a pencil to push down a little hole in the middle.

2 – Drop down 5 seeds together and a little compost on top. They will germinate together and grow like a bushy little plant. Japanese Indigo plant like company.

3 – Make sure the compost is kept humid but not watery. It is better to water from the underneath. I use a watering tray with something like foam under the planting tray.

4 – You seeds should germinate in anything between 5 to 12 days. Depending on how much light and how warm it is.

5 – Your seeds will then take another two to three weeks to get more mature (make sure they are watered.) and can be transferred to small pots.

6 – If your trays are sitting indoors by a window the small seedlings will grow towards the glass. I keep turning them around every couple of days to make them grow straight.

7 – Our aim is to have the seedlings strong enough to be outdoors to get stronger in May and get planted outside in the bed/pot they will en up in.

Have fund…

Elisabeth