Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange - My exchange partner

Brooch by Stephanie Ormon

Meet work created by Stephanie Ormon, my exchange partner for the 2016 Contemporary Jewellery Exchange.

Stephanie is based in the UK and creates jewellery works using mix media. The above brooch is a combination of ceramics, enamelling and sterling silver.

Im incredibly excited to be paired with someone with a similar aesthetic and who works with a variety of mediums. If you would like to see more of Stephanie's work visit her Facebook page.

Thursday, 19 May 2016


Shibori is a Japanese resist dying technique, which produces patterns on fabric. Resists are created by binding , stitching,  folding , twisting , or compressing the cloth.

Kimono made using different shibori techniques

There are an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results. 

I have been enamoured by this ancient art for many years, and held a solo exhibition inspired by an exchange trip to Japan, Fish Bells and Teapots in 2001 of kimono's created using these techniques. 

I am now teaching these techniques as part of the Irresistible Dye Class at NSCCD - and we are having a wonderful time. The results are documented on the Class Facebook page. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016


This week in the Irresistible Dye class we experimented with the natural dye, Madder. 

Madder (Rubia tincture) root is one of the oldest natural dyes and has been used for many centuries in Turkey, Iran and India for the production of beautiful carpets and wall hangings. The deep rich colour, also known as Turkey red, was a closely guarded secret in this region for centuries.  

Delightful array of colours. The dye reacts differently with silk, wool and cotton.
 Madder extract produces a wide range of reds from orange, brick, blood and fiery reds. And the colour is dependant on the mordant used to fix the colour.

Alum = brick red
Tin = bright orange
Chrome = burgundy
Iron = brown

We used alum and achieved a wide array of colours as can be seen in the photos. The deeper stronger colours were achieved using protein fibres (wool and silk) with beautiful salmon colours on the cotton.

Fabric in the dye bath which was kept at 60 degrees celsius 

After dying with the madder, the fabric was removed from the dye bath and we added some iron mordant. The added iron darkens the dye bath to achieve rich chocolate brown colours.  Known as an after-mordant, it is a fun way to extend the life of the dye bath and achieve some varying colours. We let the fabric sit in the cooling dye bath (the dye was taken off the heat at this stage) for about an hour before washing in cold water. 

left: wool, cotton, silk with madder and iron
right: wool, cotton and silk with madder and alum
We have a Facebook page for the class which everyone can upload their images of the experience too. 


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