Category Archives: workshops

Summer time – and time for ice-dyeing


Next month, actually it’s almost next year already, I will be having the first of my ice-dyeing classes.  This type of dyeing doesn’t need to be only in summer, I have had some wonderful results in mid-winter, like this one –


Fabric before rinsing out


After washing this gorgeous piece of fabric, it became my Angel Wings quilt.


Angel Wings

Dates for my classes are weekends 7-8 January, 14-15 January, and 21-22 January.

So if you would like to create your own piece of fabric, and would like to participate in any of these classes, then  send me an email  –  dombros2 at bigpond dot com , with the date you prefer and I’ll get back to you with the details.

Day 1 will be the ice-dyeing, day 2 will be the rinsing and reveal of your fabric, followed by another technique using Procion dyes or Indigo. A fun weekend.

Here is a sample of the different designs you can produce, “It’s all in the folding”.


Thank you for reading this far, I hope you all have a happy Christmas and New Year.

Till next time 🙂



Fabric dyeing workshop

When you teach anything in the textile area, you need a good collection of samples for the class to look at and feel.  Over the years my samples of hand-dyed primary colours have ended up somewhat out of order and with gaps, as I have taken out this or that piece because it was just the colour I needed, and then not replaced it at a later date.

In preparation for a beginner dyeing class last weekend, I decided to do a whole new set of graded primaries and secondaries.  I used the exact recipe that I was going to use in the class, grading the three primary colours from dark to light, and three sets of secondary colours from yellow through orange to red, yellow through green to blue, and blue through purple to red.

Bagged up & batching samples

Sets of primary blue, yellow & red fabrics

Sets of secondary colours

As we couldn’t do every colour in the one day class, each student picked one primary colour to grade, and then dyed a set of secondary colours from the other two primaries.

We used the leftover weak dye solutions to create neutrals.  Depending upon how heavy handed each person was with the blue and red, there were some interesting mixes.


(When I washed out my demonstration pieces, they were nearly all the same mushroom pink with a few green streaks, the orange is a silk scarf)

I don’t usually stick to the recipe every time I am dyeing fabrics for my own use, but I teach it this way so the students can get a feel for what will happen if they put in more water/dye, or less water/dye, and then go on and experiment on their own later, as they did with the neutrals.

If the noise level was anything to go by, everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and went home with lots of new fabrics, highly excited and eager to do more.

This picture says it all.  I thought I had better get a photo before it was all cleaned up.

Looks like the remains of a party

Till the next party class …

Visitors, market and blog

What an overwhelming response  I’ve had, but no-one actually said they were number 505, but the first two responses must have been near so I’ll be sending something to both Judith and Margaret.  The number tally is already at 550 so I must be doing something right.

Today is Woodbridge Market day again, so I’m off there shortly.  But this is what we saw last night at sunset.  We don’t usually see much colour in the sky in the evening because we are tucked under a hill to the west, but the storm clouds took on a lovely pink tinge, but faded very quickly, I was lucky to get even this much colour in a photo.

If you would like to see more results from the art cloth workshops we did back in October, visit Marie-Therese’s blog and have a look see, the link is in the Blogroll on the right side of this page.

So inspired

This last week has been so full on, first with our son john and his family over from the mainland staying with us for a few days, and having to abandon them to do a workshop on Thursday, bidding them safe travelling on Friday, and preparing for more workshop over the weekend.  It was lovely to see the little ones again, even for such a short time.  Our turn to visit them next time.

Tomorrow will be my first day at home on my own, all day, to recover – I am still on overload, but I will be back in my studio before the end of the week to practise more of what I learned about creating art cloth. 

Here is a sample of what I produced in the Discharging dye workshop

Discharged dye on hand-dyed silk-rayon velvet

Discharging dye class group photo

and two pieces from the weekend workshop – in pursuit of art cloth – we created pieces with lots of layers.

Creating shadows with layers

Stencil over discharged stencil

Stencil Layers Class group photo

Aren’t we a motley lot amid the chaos on the tables.   Thank you Marie-Therese for a wonderful workshop, we have all been very  inspired by you.

I didn’t realise until right now that I had taken very few photos of my own work, but lots of other people’s at varying stages of completion.  I’ll post more photos of my work in the next few days.  Stay tuned. 

Remember the wisteria in bud?  Well, Spring arrived on Friday, and we have had four consecutive warm sunny days, today up to 23 degrees and similar tomorrow, and the wisteria blossoms are beginning to open.

another few days and it will look magnificent.

Botanical Gardens

Our son John and his family are having a short holiday in Tassie from the Blue Mountains, NSW, where they live.  Today, the boys – father, son and grandson – had a boys day out, visiting Entrance Cave with the Mystery Creek running through it, and came home very wet, either from the foul weather or paddling in the creek, or both.

This is the entrance to the cave looking back outside – looks pretty wet in there with water dripping from cracks in the ceiling. Photo taken by Ted of course.

The sun might have been shining, but the day was bitterly cold with the wind coming straight off the mountain snow, fresh falls all over southern Tasmania.

And one happy little Millie with her Nan having a girls day out with her mum Julia,

visiting the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart to see the spring blossoms on show.  The annual Tulip Festival will be happening in the next week or so, and the beds of massed tulips and other spring flowers was bright and colourful.

The Japanese Garden had a couple of brilliant flowering cherries at the entrance to the garden, and just inside the gate, near the pond was this young family of ducks.

and over by the historic arch were these magnificent rhododendrons.

Tomorrow I am off to do a workshop with Marie-Therese Wisnioski – In pursuit of art cloth: discharging dye workshop.  I have been looking forward to doing a workshop with Marie-Therese for a long time.  I’ll have lots to report after the weekend is over.

Garden pests and flowers

Had time this morning to wander around what is left of our garden.  Last year we strengthened the wire fence in an attempt to keep out the wallabies.  It did for a while, until they found their way through it, or over it, and even under it.  We haven’t mowed the lawns for months, no need, it is eaten down as close as the mower would leave.    They don’t just eat the grass, but just about every bush or flower has been attacked in some way, except for the spring bulbs (which are of course poisonous to animals).  If the wallabies don’t eat a plant, they sit in the middle and break it down – young lavendars seem to be a favourite for them. 

We did have a lovely hedge of unusual lavendars, but they have become very woody and some have actually died.  They will finally be removed when we build an even bigger wallaby fence soon.  But in the meantime, we have a whole lot of self-seeded lavendar plants come up all over the garden in the last couple of years.  I always understood that lavendar was not good at reproducing this way, that it rooted from cuttings, but all of ours have had little babies all over the garden.

You can see from this photo that two varieties have grown into one another and they do look quite specky with the sun shining on them – apart from the gaping hole in the middle where the wallabies have been.

Growing up beside the fence around the patio is a wisteria, part of a very old plant which we dug up and moved, been there about 5 years, and looks like the first lot of flowers budding up.  Watch this space in a couple of weeks !

This morning was the monthly meeting of Stitching and Beyond, a group of like minded textile artists of all media, who get together and discuss and show what they have been doing, plan our next exhibition and who we can have for workshop tutors.  We have a 3 day workshop coming up next week with Marie-Therese Wisniowski, which promises to be very exciting….

Layout number 3, still not happy, it is all a bit bland, the pretty red fabrics with gold over print look very brown, I think I’ll swap a few of them for a very bright red with no gold, and one of the yellow fabrics for a very bright golden orange if I can find one.