Duchy Centre for the Creative Arts

When I phoned my friend Peter from Devon to find out where exactly Princetown was in Dartmoor we had a bit of a laugh as he informed me that it is well known for its prison!!! I joked that I would probably rent a cell for the night but as it happened they only glimpse I had of the place was when I was leaving the town!!!
I decided to book a two day workshop at “The Duchy Centre” after a tip from Jenny Balfour-Paul whilst I was in the US researching on Natural Dyes. This workshop was instructed by Jane Deane who is herself an accomplished yarn dyer, weaver and a lover of colour. After a brief discussion with Jane on what I would hope to achieve during this workshop, I decided that I would like to have a go at dyeing with Mulberry leaves (simply because I know that silk worms love it as I found out during my visit to Veneseda in Merida, Venezuela), Cutch waste, Marigold, Anatto and Madder as well as Madder root itself. Luckily Jane had scoured and pre-mordanted all the fabrics in order to save time. I soon found out that dyeing cloth is harder than dyeing yarns and the colours as a result are harder to obtain. However, I can gladly say that I successfully managed to obtain lovely colours out of Cutch, Marigold and Anatto as well as with some overdyeing using Madder in my favourites cotton velvet, silk gauze and ramie…the workshop was short and experimental, after all, this is what part of designing is about and I am sure Jane would back me up on this!!!