Tag: cochineal

Colours of Norfolk – natural dye workshop at The Workrooms, Norwich

a one day workshop in Aviva’s new city studio that celebrates Norwich’s rich textile heritage, using natural plant dyes in the ‘primary’ colours of Norfolk – blue from woad, red from madder & yellow from weld. You will also use cochineal and logwood, historic and […]

from my sketchbook

colour and weave ideas inspired by hedgerows and working with natural dyes like cochineal and indigo to create berry colour

berries & bugs





elderberry – not all ripe, but a wonderful array of colour

The studio where I have been working is located down a country lane and at the moment the hedgerows are glowing with colour from blackberry, sloe, rosehip and elderberry. Over the past couple of weeks I have been harvesting lots of lovely fruit and after stocking up my larder with jams, cordials and a bottle or two of something to warm us up through winter, decided to have a bit of a play. Out came the inks and paints and I spent a rainy sunday afternoon mark making and thinking about how I can translate the gorgeous colours of the autumn berries into my work…

I will continue working with natural dyes for my next project, but this time focus on red dyes like cochineal and lac, using extracts to try and get really strong colour. I have sourced a variety of extracts and over the coming weeks will be trying to build a palette of colour from the red/blue spectrum. I will also be using natural indigo pigment instead of the woad that I normally use for blue, and hope to get good strong purples and blue-blacks.

I am still thinking about weave structure and am being drawn to honeycomb and waffle,  envisaging rich textures in alpaca and silk, softness and warmth as winter comes closer…