Fourth Week – Experimental Brushes and an Indigo Taster

Week 4 of our ‘Open September’, and the garden is thriving – the madder is loving its new more spacious container and the weld finally looks like its alive and willing to take part in this project! The woad is doing well in the troughs and fortunately whatever was picnicking on it has moved on. The 2 woad plants growing in a deeper container are really flourishing with a little more space, even though they were started later. We’ve had one last flurry of dyers coreopsis (I wish I knew the variety), they have definitely shown up for the Harvest Festival. The marigolds continue to flower, producing the most amazing show, it must be all that good compost from Jenny Dean’s garden. I won’t bore you with anymore meanderings around the garden other than to add that on Saturday 26th Sept you can come and ‘pick your own’ solar jar. Pick some flowers and pop them in a jar, add a silk hanky; at home fill with water and wait, after a week you’ll see the hanky change colour and take on the natural dye from the flowers. This is great for the whole family to enjoy and it’s free to participate thanks to the Florence Trust’s #makeitcreative program.

Our first #makeitcreative session took place this week and as you can judge by the photos a great time was had by all. There’s something very special doing creative activities outside. Personally I’ve always dreamed of a country location for activities and now we have it in our urban environment. Having presented many brush making workshops in a variety of settings, this is far and away the best location and we’re looking forward to running many more. Also, as part of BALCONYLIFE we have been inviting visitors to wrap a piece from the collection. We plan to collect the rust marked cloths and combine them as a community based project. If you can, please pop in and wrap an object and make your own contribution to our BALCONYLIFE Cloth.

Saturday was such a fun day with four people joining us for our Indigo Taster session, though of course Cat’s sari from last week was the first actual taster! Participants learned about some basic shibori which they applied to a tote before carefully submerging it into the vat. We got some very impressive results!

As part of our Autumn Winter activities, we will be offering shibori classes and ‘how to create an indigo vat’. We hope to continue these sessions throughout the Autumn and Winter if possible, with reduced/reducing numbers if necessary. These will then hopefully be available online, thanks to our tech savvy Jonny, so we can reach as wide an audience as possible in these very unpredictable times. Insert positive joke here…

Sunday brought locals popping in to say hello on their way past the garden, as well as visitors from as far afield as darkest South and West London! One of the pleasures of this outdoor space is being able to safely socialise and do some creative activities. Who ever came up with ‘wrap your own’ was a genius; for a short period you can focus on where you are, the place, the quiet, the urban noise creeping about in the background while you peacefully wrap an object…

At the August bank holiday weekend, it seemed so far away but now its here – our last week with Journey Retraced (so beautifully installed by Jonny) and now it’s time to harvest the garden. Our Harvest Festival kicks off tomorrow with ‘Autumn Equinox bundles’, with attendees using foliage and flowers gathered from the garden to create an eco-print scarf. On Thursday we will be processing the Japanese indigo crop. This will be a demonstration activity with small silk hanky samples to take away. Our main family activity will be on Saturday 26th will be the previously mentioned ‘Pick Your Own Solar Jars’.

We are very aware of the current situation facing us with the ongoing pandemic, and as such moderneccentrics will always err on the side of caution. We apologise in advance if any of our closing arrangements have to be altered due to changing circumstances. That said, we thoroughly enjoy your visits and company, so please continue visiting safely.

Text and images © moderneccentrics

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Flextiles says:

    Lovely to catch up with you both and see your new projects developing!


    1. Lovely to see you as well Kim, thanks for coming!


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