our #HopHub project is back on track, developing new designs….

some are very individual a Romney marsh sheep made from pure local wool , a bangle that uses the spectrum of natural dyes that we’ve been making, a jug that celebrates the colour yellow, golden rod dye

We continue to meet weekly at All Saint’s church #Lydd (the photo in the middle image is of the church tower which is the tallest on the marsh), we noticed the considerable temperature drop though and I now have to look into other local venues…maybe the Library or Museum….

We are coming up with designs and ideas for the #Delights exhibition @RyeCreativeCtr in #November


other current inspiration is

lots of autumnal yellow/gold……fruit is abundant at the moment and we are rushing to crop any dye plants and berries….


all quite random visual references but sent our way ….gourds and squashes…lovely shape colour and textures…….closely followed by objet  d’art …exhibitions that are all currently FREE @Fstonetriennial and @CoastalCurrents this is a photo of the sculpture Exbury Egg that is sited outside @Jerwoodgallery #Hastings…..

and then references to the sea…sea anemones and shells…


September brings more colour….

lovely lovely plant golden rod………where are you? I went to my favourite spot overlooking the wildfowl lakes on Romney Marsh, between the MoD firing range and the wind farm. We really squeeze wildlife into very restricted spaces …..thankfully wildlife still continues to rise to the challenge

However the patch I’ve been eyeing for months has now……gone over ah! I had my secateurs at the ready and everything…no go, I only need a few flower heads so..

Back to Hastings where

Fortunately, we are a little later and cooler so phew experimenting with golden rod has taken place today

Into the pot for some boiling
And then….. 

Onto the mordanted wool, which clearly created a chemical reaction as you can see….bubbling soapy foam, I’ve left this to soak overnight but already you can see the amazing colour evolving…

Wet felting developments…

Bringing the shape of a round courgette and dyed wool together to make 
A beautiful and robust vessel……this was finished by some hard hitting against our brick wall, I wrapped the vessel in muslin and then repeatedly swiped the object against the wall to get a more solid structure from the sheep’s wool ….really pleased with the finish which resembles sea anemone, shape and colour…..


Summer’s palette

amongst the glorious rich pickings are
Bronze fennel

And ragwort… Picture to be added soon…..

I’ve collected these resources from the #RomneyMarsh #hedgerows so no cost involved 
Photos of the dyed wool from these to follow…….I think some of the colours are going to be very interesting…..can’t wait

Making things from locally sourced materials…..and coming up with ideas for a pop up market….

Obviously we are trying to keep our feet on the ground…but we are inspired by:

The church – this lovely brass engraving is in All Saints church Lydd

The landscape – Romney Marsh has so much amazingly varied landscapes and views

The sea – we want to include references to the sea in the work we produce

Local materials – we are using wool from Romney Marsh sheep, collected fruit and vegetables to dye the wool, hedgerow materials to make baskets, willow to make plant supports, decorative fish stars eats and baskets,  plant materials to inspire patterns, drawings and prints


The wool turned into a delightful little yellow jug and we photographed it inside All Saints church and next to a black & white photo of the church!

The basket is an example,of us  learning some new weaves such as ‘ chasing’ for the sides and a simple trac border ….. 

 luckily parents and carers at Brookland school got a chance to finish their baskets with handles…..

And someone in the group managed to complete a boat basket too

Making more wool dye today…..

I’ve been given some frozen elderberries from last year and I’ve boiled them for 1 hr to release their juices 

 as you can see they are incredibly deep red and I’m hoping this will transfer to the mordanted wool

Next I’m going to boil the wool then simmer for 1/2 hour in the juice plus water to cover the wool and then…..results to follow

Mordanting wool

Today is the day – we are going to do some more experimental veg/ fruit dyeing. 
As Summer ambles along bringing loads of exciting produce and flowers we are thinking:

 brown fennel

Elder berries

Red onion skins

Hibiscus/ Mallow flowers


Marigolds (deadheaded so you can appreciate the flowers first)


Dyers coreopsis

Hollyhocks (dead headed)

Madder ( need to get these plans growing in the Spring)

Comfrey ( love this plant)

Wild carrot

Sea kale

I’m currently using this recipe to prepare the wool 

 25g alum2 tsp cream of tartar (optional, an acid modifier used to brighten colour or some natural dyes)

1 litre water, or enough to cover

Place the alum and cream of tartar into the pan with a little boiling water – the heat helps the compounds dissolve. Stir until completely dissolved. Add enough water to cover the yarn and stir thoroughly.
Add the clean raw romney marsh wool
Squeeze the excess liquid from the yarn and transfer to the pan. Heat the liquid slowly and simmer gently for 1 hour.