Sunday, 31 October 2010

Duchy Square and Dartmoor

Yesterday was a fantastic day, which has fed my mojo, juju, or that well of inner spirit which was fast running dry. 

First, must bring this to your attention: Artisanal Pencil Sharpening.  Sarky or what !!

So back to yesterday, won’t bore you with the contextual details, but the sun was shining so off we toddled to the Duchy Square Fibre Textile meeting.

Devon Fine Fibre were going to attend, but unfortunately I missed them, but a lovely blog anyway.. and pointing out that for the second year running I had missed the Knit Knack Fibre Retreat.   I am so going to do this next year – NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!


The Journey to and through Dartmoor is incredible and awe inspiring to me, no matter what time of the year it is, but yesterday with the autumnal colours covering the ground it was incredibly theatrical.


Here are some colours for future dyeing sessions, and the sculptured shapes, raising your eye on many levels always appeal to the artist inside me struggling to get out. 

Eventually we got to Duchy Square – to be precise we drove past it three times from the three different directions, found a Smithy, the Barracks, the Prison, and only on the re-run we finally found our destination, clothed by some scaffolding obscured by cyclists and runners (well that was what they warning sign said, I think they looked more like walkers to me – all of them !!). 

But what an amazing day.  All my heroines (facilitated by heroes – familiar patterns emerging here B said…!) in one spot. 

Jane Deane (who I embarrassingly always manage to mix up names with Jenny Dean – I don’t mean to, I just have a bit of a blindspot when it comes to remembering names.  I should have got this sussed by now though, as I saw Jane give a talk last year at Somerset Guild, which was very memorable, and I love her work). 

Got organised with the natural dyeing and have some more colours clutched to my breast to proceed at home with.

Helen Melvin who has inspired me and underpinned a lot of my dyeing adventures a few years ago, and now I have returned to – aided with a bit more knowledge.  I have found a more accessible way in now, and something she said yesterday rang true – as a culture we tend to use the same dye methods that we use to cook.  So taking that to its lateral enth – need to find something I can burn successfully !!

Took away though a super eco silk dye kit – which I will write about in the near future, along with a set of her naturally dyed inks.  Growing Colour Blog – Helen’s blog has some super pictures of what can be achieved with the scarf kit, and I have bought the green one.  The inks are used to make the distinctive covers to her publications, which I have admired greatly and one of the reasons I actually own them (well before natural dyeing really entered my interests !!)

I could go on like this all day – Amanda was there with her glorious well, and then – to top all else I managed to finally get to meet and talk with Sara of Sara’s texture crafts. 

Previously to this I had met her briefly at trade shows, but even thought I loved her products - batts and rovings made to a very high standard, with some very exciting colourways, had not had chance to chinwag. 

Yesterday there was time and space, so ideas and inspiration were flowing freely ! 

It is great when you meet like-minded people all in one space !  My mind is now bouncing…

But as everyone who knows me will tell you, I think, talk and do, several things at once.  I came away from the show replete, everything I needed to do what I needed to do, to move things on to the next stage – sat eating in a local restaurant – when I suddenly realised I had all these dyes and no wool to dye !!!! 

What an oversight…. but soon remedied thanks to Mary Toon – who was my saviour.  Now armed with the merino, the dyes and well, everything else I can think of…. off to….

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