dye made from foraged sloes that have been preserved in alcohol and now boiled up and drained to make dye
and this is the hearty colour you get from boiling the outer skins from approx 6 onions and 1 garlic bulb…
ok so we’ve mordanted our wool
- 100g scoured wool
- 8 g alum
- 7 g cream of tartar
- 10 litre stainless steel stock pot or saucepan.
- Weigh the wool and leave it to soak in water overnight..
- Pour boiling water onto the cream of tartar and alum, stirring it well until it has dissolved & add to the saucepan.
- Add the pre-soaked scoured wool to the saucepan.
- Raise the temperature of the saucepan slowly to a simmer
- Leave the wool to cool in the saucepan (it is OK to leave it overnight).
- Drain the wool and rinse thoroughly. We use muslin to hang on the line with the wool inside a final dry in an airing cupboard. Now you are ready to add the dye…s
weve made dye from pomegranate, onion skins, sloes, beetroot and cabbage
we are currently working with Romney Marsh primary schools to discover the properties of raw Romney Marsh wool.
Firstly, we have to say thank you for the wool donated by local farmer Chris
Secondly, local schools for allowing us to work with their classes year groups 5 & 6
this week we are trying natural dyes made from:
yes we’ve been boiling up cabbage! not just any old cabbage but Savoy cabbage only the best…..
also, the glittering and delicious pomegranate fruit…which smells a whole lot better than the previous batch
these are all going to be logged and recorded by the participating schoolchildren i.e. what we are using and what colour do we get once the wool has been soaked in each dye.
Follow our blog to find out more…..
on Sunday the 9th of October we held a wet felting workshop at St Georges’ church, Ivychurch. It was great fun for myself and all of the participants and here are some photos and details of my method incase you would like to give it a go yourself!
Step 1 – Prepare your space!
Wet felting is (as the name hints) wet! so set up in a place where it doesn’t matter if water gets on the floor and make sure you have the means to mop anything up if needed.
You will needed….
- Bubble wrap (as large as you want your sheet of felt to be)
- A sushi mat (same size as above)
- Tutu net (as above)
- Wool for felting!
- Bar of soap
- Warm water
So, lay out a towel (optional) on your space and then the sushi mat and then the bubble wrap (bubbles up) on top of that.
Step 2 – Add wool!
Begin to tease bits of wool apart and gently lay three layers of the wool on top of the bubble wrap. First layer with all the wool horizontal, then vertical, then horizontal again. each layer should cover the space but be thin enough to see the surface underneath.
Gently lay your tutu net onto of your woolly layers and drizzle some warm water on top. you want your wool to be fully saturated but not swimming with water. the easiest way to do this is to sprinkle a little on at a time then press the wool down to see how wet it is getting. you want it wet enough that when you press your hand down on it some water comes up between your fingers.
Step 3 – Felt!
Take your soap and rub it over the whole surface of your piece – just once for now! Then take a small scrap of bubble wrap, create a bulb shape with it and with the bubble side facing down start to rub it over your surface in small circles. there should be quite a lot if sudds appearing so if not, add some more of your soap.
now you need to do this for quite a long time. at least 15 mins. every now and then pull the tutu net up and release the fibres of there wool that have attached itself to it as we don’t want that included in the felt!
After the felting is done its at this point you need to decide weather you want your felt thicker/denser; if so then repete the steps of adding the raw wool and rubbing with the soap. if you are happy with the thickness then please read on!
Remove the sushi matt from underneath (gently) and lay it on top of your felt. flip the whole thing over and remove the bubble wrap. roll it all up as tight as you can and roll back and forth for about 30 seconds. this process helps to remove any excess water and to aid the felting process. unroll your work, turn the felt 90 degrees and repeat. Do this again and again until you have done it four times so its been rolled in each direction twice.
Finally! Gently rinse in tepid water if your work is particularly soapy and then lay out to dry!
you will have a lovely piece of felt do do what you wish with – its so versatile you can make a pouch, coasters, book covers…the list is endless!
If you give it a go please let us know how it goes!
hello one and all!
Today I am writing a little blog about the Foragers walk and talk I went on along with lots of other windswept individuals with the lovely Sarah Watson from WildFeast!
we all me at 2pm at St Mary in the Marsh church ready to learn about what tasty treats await in the hedgerows of the marsh!
Off we went down the appropriately named ‘Pickney Bush Lane’, stopping now and then so Sarah could impart some of her knowledge on us about the wild treats such as nettles, mallow leaves, rose hips, blackberries, sloes and lots more! Here are some lovely snaps of our adventure…
After our walk we returned back to the church, Sarah talked us through our finds and what we could make with them. We sampled some lovely sloe and apple cordial which she very kindly gave us the recipe for! There was also some delectable blackthorne liquire available to sample which was really rather lovely.
What a wonderful Sunday afternoon it was. Coming up this Sunday (the 9th) is a drop in work shop with little old me at St George’s church in Ivychurch. We will be making felt pouches from wool from our very own Romney Marsh sheep! Pop in any time between 1 and 3pm, see you there!
Peace and love,
Hope you are all having a splendid Autumn, as the title suggests the days just seem to be escaping me at the moment but I am really enjoying the arrival of my favourite seasonal gift: conkers!
After a childhood of spending endless afternoons on the walk home from school searching for the shiny gems i still can’t shake the excitement when they start to arrive. The lovely feel of them in your hand and collecting as many as you can while storing them in an old shoebox. such a lovely time of year.
So the long awaited for Art in Romney Marsh festival has begun! Have you had the chance to go yet? Please let us know what you think!
September is full of new educational beginnings – I’ve returned to complete the second year of my Masters Degree and oh boy its intense!
Eased in (!) with a two hour lecture on materialism and realism we’ve hit the ground running ready to put together a 5000 word essay (or ‘Critical Research Paper’) in time for christmas.Before you ask; no I don’t know what I’m doing it on and no i also haven’t even vaguely started…all in good time!
Last but not least a very exciting piece of news…our new rescue donkey arrives tomorrow! His name is Charlie, he is black and coming to us from Colchester, Essex. Since we lots one of our ponies our current donkey has been very lonely so we’ve arranged for a companion to join the gang on the farm.
I’ll post pictures as soon as i have some, but for now here is a wee snap of our lovely kitten ‘Winnie’ who is now 5 months old!
welcome to my first blog post in about 6 years – what a busy summer it has been all we lol as beautiful and warm…and it’s not over yet!
So many exciting things have happened over the last couple of months I hardly know where to start!
Coming up in September and October we have the annual ‘Art In Romney Marsh’ festival featuring unique commissioned pieces of art from local artists displayed across 5 of the Marsh’s most beautiful medieval churches. In addition to the wonderful things to see, there as some workshops coming up which you can get involved in and create something unique yourself.
I will be holding a wet felting workshop on Sunday 9th October in St Mary the Virgin church in St Mary in the Marsh – if this sounds appealing to you then please send us an email letting us know you are interested as there are a limited number of spaces.
Ive had a little practice to polish up my skills and have decided we will be making a little pouch out of Romney Marsh Sheep wool for you to keep something small and special in. It’s going to be lots of fun, promise!
i don’t want to spoil the workshop so no photos today of what we are creating, instead here is Mickey the donkey looking as lovely as ever. 😍
lots of love,
Thanks go to Alan Sage at Godinton House Ashford for teaching the besom broom workshop & to @Shepwaynews for introducing us to