DyeHaus is my studio, situated in the Upper Blue Mountains near Sydney and venue for DyeHaus workshops. As my base, the surrounding garden, plants and animals, the bush and the silence offer endless inspiration for colour, texture and patterns.
INSPIRATION FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE
I scout the globe researching dye techniques to further expand my knowledge as a tutor of DyeHaus workshops where I pass on what I have seen and learnt.
I visited the dye garden in Lauris, Provence, on a number of trips and it is here that I had a very formative weeklong workshop with Michel Garcia in 2015 learning the art of Mordant Printing, Hapazome Flower Pounding and dye extraction from Persicaria Tinctoria.
2018 a workshop in his new home in Brittany focussed on Indigo extraction, tannins, and printing with dyes.
Other influential workshops were at the Shibori Symposium in Oaxaca, again with Michel Garcia on Mayan Blue as well as dyeing with Cochineal.
Another dye master from Japan, Hiroshi Murase taught me various stitch resist techniques like Nui shibori as well as a great number of tie resists.
A couple of trips to Japan's Arimatsu Shibori Festival gave me great insight into the history and practises of Shibori that are still alive in this old trading town. The many examples there and Kyoto's Shibori museum gave me great inspiration for teaching and my own work.
I also have explored Eastern Dye techniques in Java and Bali, Indonesia. The dye garden in Umajati near Ubud, Bali connected to Threads of Life, offered endless opportunities to investigate plants and again dye techniques which can be very different from our own as well as ikat and wax batik. A visit to IKTT in Cambodia deepened this knowledge.
In India I learned wood block printing in Bagru and did workshops with the famous mud printers.
The workshop on stitched Shibori with Jane Callender was a great extension to my repertoire of Shibori technique and I was able to acquire all the intricacies of this sometime challenging technique.
Workshop in freezing Shanghai with Hiroshi Murase and Yoshiko Wada on Makiage and Sekka Shibori as well as various Natural Dye techniques.
Apart from a Diploma in Textile Design and a myriad of units of pertinent art courses, I hold a teaching qualification. This, combined with my need to share the knowledge that I encounter in workshops with the world's best and the need for up to date information in Australia, made me start DyeHaus Workshops in 2013.
DYE BOTANICALS SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FROM MY GARDEN
As I have access to a cornucopia of local and exotic plants in my backyard, I mainly use those in my work and workshops as well as ancient dyes such as Madder, Weld, Cutch, Fustic, Indigo and Pomegranate but always with a focus on wash fastness and efficiency of dyes and thorough preparation of fabric and lasting dye practices.
Currently I am looking to re-interpret and update the concept of Natural Dyes with DYESCAPES to give this well practised craft a more modern slant in a more conceptual context as well as expand the scope of substrates by using leather.
DyeHaus uses natural and sometimes low-impact fibre-reactive dyes depending on requirements, always on natural fibres such as silk, cotton, linen, wool, bamboo and hemp.
All accessories are hand-dyed on site and assembled in Australia.
DyeHaus focuses on the new and unusual, and seeks the untrodden paths in travel as well as in the exploration of new techniques.
My work is largely influenced by the timeless craft of Indigo Shibori resist dyeing, which I am very drawn to, since it blends into contemporary and traditional surroundings and offers endless variations.
The fact that I have spent a lifetime in pursuit of Dyeing and Textiles as well as Art, Ceramics, Gardening design and diverse studies, is reflected in my approach to teaching as well as designing. Both are imbued with knowledge, experience and passion.
The first DyeHaus kaftan
(made from an old sheet), 1974
I often get asked how long I have been dyeing - that's how long!