I haven't actually dyed with woad for a couple of years, so last year I planted these. Hopefully I shall dye next year with the plants I grow from this lot of seeds.
Last year the apple blossom was quite sparse after a spectacular display the previous year. Someone told me that trees have a quiet year every few years, like a rest. This year the trees are heavy with flowers so I hope there will be enough bees around to appreciate them.
The blackcurrents are a wonderful plant with their early leaves, nutritious fruit and these sweet little flowers.
Having made a few dye baths recently I had several pots of dye left over, with some life still left in them, so I dyed a few skeins. I put skeins in the logwood bath and left them for a few hours or over night without heating them.
What was left of the walnut hulls and the alkanet made a very nice grey.
The yellows are a mixture of weld, dandelions and fustic.
Recently I was asked to dye some woollen cloth for someone who is making a garment for the Cambrian Wool Challenge. Logwood was the colour he chose and for this task my giant saucepan was needed as some of the pieces of fabric were quite large.
I look forward to seeing how the finished garment looks.
This year I will be facilitating Natural Dye and Cyanotype workshops with Make it in Wales.
On Saturday 28th. March I took samples of dyed wool and some of my cyanotypes to the launch of the company in Aberporth. I met the other facilitators who will be sharing a variety of skills from jewelry making, sewing and tapestry to macine knitting, weaving, paper folding, photography and more.
The launch was open to the public and there were taster sessions for people who wanted to have a go at some of the activities.
It was a lovely day and so inspiring. Many of the courses, which will be daytime or residential, will take place in the beautiful Bryn Berwyn Country House.
I crocheted squares from some of the yarn which I recently dyed. I felt that this gave the wool a context and meant that I had more than just samples to display and talk about.
Here are a few images taken on the day by Suzi Park.
We have a show at Ysgol Celf Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen School of Art). It is a group ehibition by some of the staff and students called Metamorphosis and Otherworlds. It is running in tandem with another show, Thin Place, at Oriel Myrddin .
Peter Spriggs and Jonathan Cox
For this show I have created twenty cyanotypes of plants that are believed to be protective against evil. Traditionally they were hung as garlands or draped on window sills to keep the inhabitants safe.
All the plants which I photographed grow in or near to my home and I could have included more but it was getting quite late in the year so I missed some of them. Luckily I already had a few images, like the Foxgloves and Herb Robert, that were suitable for the purpose.
Most of the work which I now make involves investigating my home, its wildlife and its history.
When restoring and repairing parts of our house we found iron under every threshold, red wool thread in a wall and a very old shoe on the chimney. This is what prompted me to look at ideas and objects associated with safeguarding the home from unseen malevolent forces. The iron, the red wool and the shoe survived reasonably intact as evidence of these beliefs, their pressence thought to have a long term effect. The fragile nature of plants, however, would have required fairly frequent renewal, perhaps at set times of the year and on accasions like the birth of a child.
The exhibition is interesting and diverse and I hope to take some more photos next week.