Saturday 13 & Saturday 27 May 2023, The Garden’s Cloth with Bella Gonshorovitz
Workshop: 16:00 -19:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
Online workshop, hosted on Zoom by Bella Gonshorovitz
Each natural dye vat produces a wholly unique shade: a colour created by the ecosystem that informed it, the quality of the soil, the season of the year and the pH level of the water.
Teaching this workshop, Bella Gonshorvitz is a multidisciplinary fashion practitioner, author, natural dyer and allotment plot grower. Her debut book ‘Grow, Cook, Dye, Wear – From seed to style the sustainable way’ was published this year by DK/Penguin Random House. The book captures her miniature circular economy process through the prism of five crops: grow-your-own and foraging advice; vegan recipes for the harvest; instructions to creating natural dye from the cooking waste and full-size patterns with sewing instructions to creating your own Onion dress, Nettle duster, Rhubarb bolero, Blackberry shirtdress and Cabbage shorts. She is currently working on her next book ‘The Living Wardrobe’.
This event will consist of free access to the Meet the Maker talk with Bella Gonshorvitz on her experience as a fashion practitioner, author, natural dyer and allotment plot grower, followed by a workshop. If you are unable to attend the online talk on 8 March 2023, the talk will be recorded and made available to you after the event. Please allow 7 working days for us to send you the recording.
Outline of the workshop
In this two-part workshop, you will learn to identify, harvest or forage local dye plants, and create your own ‘garden cloth’, a fabric collage exhibiting the shades of the natural landscape you inhabit. The garden cloth can then be used as a wall hang or to make a cushion cover, table cloth or incorporated into a hand-made garment.
In the first session, you will join Bella in harvesting and foraging for dyestuff in her allotment and surrounding marshlands of North-East London. She will then guide you in sourcing your dyestuff, preparing and naturally dyeing the fabrics for the next instalment.
In the following session, we will prepare the pattern for the garden cloth, cut and sew the naturally dyed fabric. We will conclude by sharing the unique results achieved by each participant, acknowledging how the same type of plant can produce completely different shades in different parts of the world.
Level of experience
This workshop is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced makers.
A materials pack will be sent to participants prior to the workshop containing:
- A bundle of preloved fabric, gathered by Bella in flea markets, car boot sales and charity shops – these will arrive mordant, or in other words – ready to dye. Bella will guide you through the mordanting process, as you will be encouraged to incorporate some of your own fabric – whether it be scraps or sentimental cloth.
- A stocking, to protect your dyestuff.
- An illustrated guide to gathering your dye plants – personally adapted to your area.
- Rusty nails, to create iron water, which help shift colour to melancholic tones.
- Dot and cross paper to create the pattern.
- Cotton sewing thread.
In addition, participants will need to provide:
- Gardening gloves
- Garden secateurs
- A saucepan – preferably aluminium and one that is not used for cooking.
- A bowl
- A source of heat – A stove top hob or hot plate.
- Access to a tap and sink.
- Vinegar and soda ashes to modify tone (optional)
- A sewing machine (though sewing by hand is also possible)
- An iron
- A ruler and measure tape
- Fabric scissors
The workshop will be recorded and the recording will be shared with you after the workshop. Please allow 7 working days for us to send you the recording.
Please note: material packs are shipped on an insured, trackable delivery service. Any customs duties, delays, lost or undeliverable packages are the responsibility of the customer. Once a material pack leaves the workshop tutors' hands with a tracking number, the seller has no further obligation to the buyers.
Workshop Cancellation Policy
All places reserved for workshops are non-refundable, however, if you let us know you are not able to make a workshop you have booked at least two weeks prior to the event, we will offer a credit note.
If you require additional information about this workshop please contact email@example.com.
Images credit: Julius Honnor