Working with Aboriginal women in Fitzroy Crossing, Kirsten Smith attended the last Mordant Printing workshop at DyeHaus.
She explained that she is instructing the women in dye techniques using local plant material.
The women have a very deep knowledge in bush medicine, so Kirsten goes out to forage under their expert guidance. They are looking for medicinal plants because most of these contain dyes. These are then used to make dye for silk scarves in an amazing array of colours and patterns. They were on show recently at 'Barometer Gallery' in Paddington.
Here are some examples of their work.
Colour palette of Bush dyes
Intense purple from Darwinia
Freshwater Mangrove bark
Most interesting and long lasting dye. It throws up all sorts of unexpected shades.
I am looking forward experimenting more with this special dye. I will bring some along to the next Natural Dye workshop at Work-Shop. ( wait listing, sorry!)
Puffball mushroom dye Itajime
Ecoprint with gumleaves
Eucalypt and gallnut dyes with popsicle as resist! In places you can see the colour from the wrapping paper. That's original!!
Kirsten Smith at DyeHaus.
We had an amazing day after the workshop exploring techniques further. It was great fun.
Since then Kirsten has made her own investigations with some very interesting colour outcomes
Wattle-seed, Snappy gum and Blue Gum Mordant Print samples
What thrilled me most of all, was the knowledge that a skill I learnt in Lauris, France from Michel Garcia, passed on via Kirsten, will be applied in the Aboriginal communities, Kirsten even expects that the women will use and share this technique with other groups.
I hope to be able to visit one day and see it for myself!.
If you would like to get in touch with Kirsten to purchase mangrove dye or planned bush-tours, you can contact her on Instagram @memoriesofcountry.