I had tons of fun this past weekend at a Natural Dye Workshop with a Vancouver based artist name Caitlin Ffrench.
I was hesitant to take this workshop wondering what I might be able to learn from it. I have been working with dyes on fabric for the past 20 years. I studied Textiles in New Brunswick at the College of Craft and Design, and natural dyes in Vancouver with Charlotte Kwon & Danielle Bush at Maiwa. Most of my natural dyeing career has been in my studio with myself, fabric & lots of pots, determined to teach myself how to make natural liquid dyes to use for my batik paintings on silk. That was a success and now I’m working on a series for a solo exhibition I have in the Spring 2017. I haven’t crossed paths with tons of well known natural dyers yet, and I saw this workshop as a wonderful way to meet a fellow friend possibly as passionate as me. I did, and it was great!
Caitlin Ffrench was a very entertaining teacher and I really enjoyed her teaching style. I went into the workshop open to learning anything and everything I possibly could, without really thinking about it. Caitlin’s teaching style was adventurous and captivating, deep + personal. I loved printing with fallen leaves from around Powell River while listening to her stories about travelling in Iceland and having a studio space in Vancouver.
My jersey fabric was my favorite sample. I look forward to making more of these and keeping a collection of them with my other dye samples. I would love to have a show in the future of all my sample pieces over the years.
One thing Caitlin reinforced in her workshop is how important it is to teach this information. You learned it and part of having the knowledge is passing it on. This was extremely inspiring for me because at times, I am very shy to teach. Caitlin’s encouraging words will stick with me as I go out there and teach natural dyes to people around the world.
Thanks Caitlin Ffrench for gracing us with your presence.