“LEAVES ON PAPER”, a self paced Botanical Contact Printing on paper online course

I am happy to announce the release of my new online self paced Botanical printing on paper course.

After booking a space you will be receiving a link to a web page where you will find the instructions in the form of 12 lessons. The course is released for the first time on the 1st of Septembre. One lesson is released every two weeks. Once all the lessons will be live anyone booking into the course will get the whole course in one go.

You will also be admitted on the Facebook page support of the course. There you will be able to share results and exchange with other participants.

There is a progression in the course and some real learning. I will be at hand for questions but there are no live sessions included in the course. However you get to keep the instructions after you are done.

It is perfect for beginners and more experience printers alike. To book a space please use the link below:

Dye and stitch


WAS £120 This is an online course in Botanical Contact Printing on paper. It is perfect for beginners as it teaches step by step. It is based on written instructions, photos and video material, a FB for support and from time to time a live session. Release for the 1st lesson, is 1st of Septembre. The other 11 lessons will be released one at a time every two weeks. Once the whole course is live it will stay live. You have access for life.


Botanical Contact printing on paper is a wonderful technique allowing you to record nature around you to create beautiful prints on a variety of paper. Using knowledge and techniques that have a lot in common with Natural dyeing, it only uses Botanicals and no added acrylic or synthetic colours to create wonderful marks.

The seasons, the places visited and the happy and special times can be recorded in beautiful art work, prints, botanical diaries, and others and beautiful pieces and memories for times to come.

I am a Botanical Printer and a Natural dyer and I live in Glasgow Scotland. My Art practice is sustainable and I work with Nature around me to create prints and colours on all fibre. I research my methods and I teach them online live, and in person workshops.

I have been teaching Contact Botanical Printing for a few years now and I love sharing my techniques allowing all that I teach to become also expert in the technique. So far I have taught this method in an online live 12 months course and in physical workshops but many have asked me to put together a self paced course, more practical when time is precious or time zones different.

This is my new online self paced course and I would love you to join my community of printers.

With this course you will learn :

  • to understand your fibres and mordants
  • to select your equipment for a practical home studio
  • to recognise your leaves and what they can do for you, (colours created, colour modified)
  • to save your leaves for winter printing
  • to extract dyes and tannins via natural dye matters foraged or purchased.
  • to create dye, tannin and ferrous blankets
  • to simmer and steam for different results
  • to understand ph shift and play with it
  • to create a botanical paste to over print
  • to create amazing prints and to neutralise and finish them.

This course is web based and includes 12 chapters (instructions, photos and small videos material). From Septembre 1st 2022 they will be delivered one by one via email link, every two weeks. Once the course is completely online you get to keep it. Participants who join after the 1st of septembre will get immediate access to all that has already been released. There is no limit of time for booking. The course is for you to keep and You will have access to a FB group for support. I will visit the group several times a week and answer your questions.

You will be part of an online community and I look forward to meet you there.

Some of my previous participants say…

” There was so much to learn and you made it so easy with your step by step method”

“I love being in control of my prints and understanding my results”

“Recognising dyes to tannin was always an issue, I now know which will give me the effect I want”

“You made me love the leaves around me, they now tell me a story”

“I am amazed about my results… I did not think I had a creative bone in me and I love the results I am getting now”

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.


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.


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


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



Indigo and Woad planting at The Indigo Plot – The Glasgow Botanical garden 11th June 11 am

Meet up with Natural dyer and Eco teacher Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw in the Glasgow Botanical garden at #theindigoplot to discover about Indigo and Woad plants and help planting the 2023 crop. You will be showed some samples of dyed material and yarn and given facts about the growing of a blue dye garden.



Indigo dye workshop – (12 August 2023) Dyeing blue with Fresh leaves and pigment

On the 12th August 2023 from 11 am to 4pm. Spend an afternoon in the dye studio of Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw in the West end of Glasgow and learn to set up a quick vat and dye with it. You will start with a visit at the dye garden to pick up some fresh Indigo leaves with which we will dye some silk fabric using a simple salt method. Then we will set up an Indigo vat and we will be dyeing shibori with it. In this workshop you will learn about setting up and dyeing with vats and make some Art work This is perfect for beginners.



Natural dye Masterclass (18 September 2023) – From Blue to Green, how to dye fiber with home grown Natural dyes

This class will run on the 18th of September from 10 to 4pm in the Kibble Palace – Glasgow as part of the Natural Dye Festival organised by #theindigoplot Join Natural dyer Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw @ the Kibble palace for a day Masterclass in Natural dyeing using home grown dyes on cellulose and protein fibres. A short visit of #theindigoplot the Natural dye plants’s garden is planned on the day. Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw is a Natural dyer who grows dye plants in the Glasgow Botanical garden. On this day dyeing we will learn to dye samples of fabric and yarn with home grown plants. This workshop is perfect for any textile creative or Natural dyer looking for a more sustainable approach to dyeing. You will leave with some new learning and samples to take home.


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 Elisabeth from Glasgow:

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.

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:

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