In Spring 2020, in the first coronavirus lockdown, I ran a workshop for East End WI, using plant drawing to connect women who drew with women who embroidered.
Fashion-focused growing and making project Cordwainers Dye picked it up on Instagram and asked if they could embroider a piece.
That started a creative conversation.
I drew the their woad seeds for their extraordinary colours and joined in with their bundle dyeing project.
Then Cordwainers Dye asked if they could use one of my drawings for some embroidery.
I had a go too, using natural dyes and freehand machine and hand embroidery similar to my line illustration. As my pieces weren’t lightfast, I used them to cover sketchbooks and scrapbooks, hand drawing my end papers with natural and regular inks and using up waste paper, old printing proofs and board for the bookbinding.
Why do all of that research and development, in my own time? Well, this has joined up drawing, pigments, growing, making and design. It’s got me interested in natural pigments and dyes. It’s shown me new ways of using found materials. And it’s set off a chain reaction of creativity, knowledge and collaboration that opens up new thinking and new possibilities.
So while we can’t travel, a voyage of creative discovery is bringing refreshment to my work with clients, with collaborators and on my own projects.