the host of the Goolwa workshop [planned for early February 2012] and i have received some interesting mail lately.
it runs along the lines of "yes, we're interested in the riverstitch class but 2012 is pretty busy so we'll do it in 2013"
well, sorry to disillusion you folks, but just for the record
the riverstitch class will be my only South Australian workshop in 2012 [i won't be teaching in my home state at all in 2013]
i'll be scaling back the teaching whirlwind from the end of next year - looking for some space and time to develop and make new work
my rule for myself is not to use imported dyestuffs. but i love blue. so when i was in France earlier this year and was assured by Charlotte Kwan of Maiwa that their indigo comes from a sustainable source and that the grower receives proper recompense for their trouble, i permitted myself an indulgence. and bent that rule.
so now that i have the luxury of being at home for a time i'm playing the blues. in the dyepot, at the cocktail hour and on my tenor saxophone. redgum ash and reject honey [yes, there IS such a substance] are the reducing agents, in a local variant on Michel Garcia's indigo methods.
i'm often asked for advice on caring for ecoprint cloth. my response is generally "treat it as you would treat your hair" because after all wool and silk are quite similar proteins to hair [wool particularly, being keratin] that ought not to be dried in the sun if it can be avoided.*
just as a day at the beach can turn your hair into straw, allowing wet silk to dry in Australian sunshine can make it quite brittle.
and sunshine fades things. black cotton Tshirts as much as ecoprint cloth.
for quite a while, Ecostore woolwash was my potion of choice but recently i indulged and purchased a bottle of Aesop A.P.C. specifically created for washing fine fabrics by hand. it contains petitgrain, lemon and cedarwood among other ingredients and smells like a redwood forest.