Eco-Dyeing Workshop with Natalie Billing

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The Blackall Cultural Association has run another great workshop at the Living Arts Centre. Past local Natalie Billing ran a fully booked course of 10 students. Ladies from Aramac, Barcaldine and Quilpie joined six local students for the 2 day event.

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Using a dye bath made of purple cabbage, onion skins and alum, or eucalyptus and iron as a mordant, students got to create vivid and colourful patterns on natural fabrics such as silk and wool, and also paper. Results can be unpredictable. Using different plant materials and mordents to see what colours and prints can be achieved is an experiment really. After leaving bundles of fabric in the dye pots overnight on day 1, we were filled with excitement the next morning to open them. Everyone was amazed at the different results.

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Day 2 saw people arriving with armfuls of branches and rusty objects eager to get back into it.

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So much was produced and put into the brew for the ‘Cook Up’ that several hours were put in by Natalie and a few eager locals on a third day to unwrap creations left brewing overnight. There were some wonderful creations unwrapped, especially wool, as wool loves eco dying.

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This workshop was organised with the assistance of RADF funding. The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a QLD Government and Blackall-Tambo Regional Council partnership to support local arts and culture.