A Weekend of Basket Weaving & Botanical Dyeing

botanical dyeing and weaving workshop
A little while ago I wrote about some of the craft projects I work on behind the scenes for my own enjoyment (you can read the post about it here) and I mentioned I was hoping to attend a basket weaving workshop in Healesville to learn so new skills.
Well this year I’ve really been trying very hard to actually do all the stuff I say I’m going to do rather than just talking about it, which includes going to more classes and workshops. So when Ruth from Craft School Oz posted dates for her next basket weaving and botanical dyeing workshops I booked without delay.

Ruth runs her basket weaving workshops from her home in Healesville, Victoria in the Yarra Valley. It’s a lovely drive about an hour from Melbourne.
I thought it would be fun to give my new camera a work out and document the weekend by making some little videos. I hope you enjoy them…

Saturday – Coil Basket Weaving
coil basket weaving
I had a lovely time with a group of about 20 women learning from Ruth and sharing experiences. Ruth has worked with an Aboriginal community in north Arnhem land where the very talented Yolngu women taught her how to weave baskets and she has some wonderful stories to share.
All materials required were supplied and there were a variety of interesting materials available to incorporate into the baskets.
coil basket weaving
Ruth had some beautiful baskets on display that she and other weavers had made to provide inspiration.
I hope you enjoy the video I made, I really tried to capture the essence of the day.

Sunday – Botanical Dyeing
botanical dyeing
Botanical Dyeing is something that I’ve been really curious about for a long time, so this workshop run by Kate James, was timely and very educational.
Dyeing with plants is just magical, I never imagined the variety and intensity of colours that we all dyed on the day could be achieved with such a small selection of plants. We used nine amongst the whole group, with my favourite being Oxalis which gave an almost neon yellow when used on it’s own, but bright orange and brown when modified with other additives.
oxalis dyeing
Kate supplied us with a very detailed workbook with lots of information to continue our experiments at home, but I was in awe of her personal dyeing journal with a huge array of yarn and fabric samples in every colour of the spectrum. Who knew avocado skins make a pink dye!
botanical dye book
Here is the little video I put together to document Sunday’s workshop

So that’s how I spent my weekend. Have you tried basket weaving or botanical dyeing before?

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