Tuesday, 5 March 2019


two places have become available in the only fully residential retreat I will be leading this year, in beautiful Bretagne - Brittany, on the shining edge of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean.

this is one of the thin places of the whirled, where it feels as if you could easily step from this one to the next. 

the layers of history are dense and complex :: at our accommodation there is a fig tree with a girth so big it seems as though it could have been planted by a returning crusader

at the foot of the garden there is a path winding down to a burbling stream that wanders through a faerie-tale forest, the kind in which you expect to see unicorns leaping lightly over fallen logs or to find a strand of Melisande's hair

our workshop is called 'longing(be)longing' and will take us deeply into the investigation of the poetics of this place, one that seems to allow us to see further, hear more clearly and feel more deeply.

time slows in this place.

we will be hand stitching and dyeing, making a journal and capturing poetry as it drifts in on the breeze.

all meals are provided by our chef Geraldine (a specialist in mindful eating)

and at night, the Atlantic Ocean will sing you to sleep.

does this sound like something you need?

please contact Claire des Bruyeres to secure your place.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

gardens of the heart and a free class

what a month it's been ... unpacking and documenting the lovingly stitched contributions to Gardens of the Heart, putting the pieces together with the help of lovely volunteers and installing the exhibition at Fabrik Arts + Heritage has taken up much of my time. I'm so grateful to the h.ART group and to the new Director at Fabrik, Melinda Rankin for unstinting and generous support.

here's a wee video to give you more of an idea of how it turned out. If you live in South Australia you have until March 17 to see the show for yourself. I keep expecting Oberon and Titania to step out of the shadows.

I've also made a free class for you at the School of Nomad Arts :: 'laundering leaf prints'.
so many people write to me asking how best to wash their naturally dyed and printed textiles that I thought I'd save myself a bit of email-answering time by offering some instructions.

you'll find a link to it here

Sunday, 27 January 2019

dear blogger, could you please get your act together?

Blogger is being extremely sporadic about letting me comment, even on my own blog.
Commenting on others, forget it.

This evening there was a comment on a post from 2009.

A number of (frustrating) attempts at answering have failed, so here goes.

India we are trying to help save the kelp forests from destructive mechanical harvesting, here in West Cork,Ireland. I am experimenting with bundles of cotton fabric using seaweed for dye patterns, but having trouble getting much to happen. I wonder if silk would be better and seaweed as mordant. This would become banners for a public art project. Maybe I need to add something to the mix to bring out the colours of the plants? I am a novice, have the bundle book, and would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Janice McEwen "

Answer: dyeing cotton is tricky, silk will be more rewarding. And seaweed generally plays more nicely when wrapped around a piece of metal.

Want to learn more useful things about dyeing with plants and wandering the whirled with your eyes open?

'being(t)here', one of the most popular workshops I've offered over the years, is now available online at the School of Nomad Arts. It begins with the new moon in March with offerings every 28 days or so, into December

please click here for more information