education

New for 2017 Workshops

Experience the magic of printing and dyeing with natural, local products working with artist owner of ColourField Natural Textiles Catherine Lewis.

  • Saturday 18th February: Indigo Dyeing with Shibori (beginners)

    Catherine will take you through all the stages of fabric folding, natural indigo dyeing, washing, pattern cutting and then customising your items.  You’ll learn about the dye process, the basic binding and stitched techniques through sampling and then design your own pattern to dye an item of your clothing in the indigo vat. You’ll leave not only with your own unique piece of upcycled fashion but also with the skills to dye other pieces at home.

    Skills and Materials
    This is an introductory course and is aimed at anyone over 14 years old. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge of dyeing. All materials and equipment will be provided, other than your item to dye. An interest in exploring these exciting techniques is all you need.

    What is Shibori?
    Shibori is a Japanese term for the dye-resist process of binding, clamping or gathering cloth so that the dye cannot reach those parts of the fabric. Many people have heard of tie-dye; Shibori employs a number of methods to achieve this including:

     stitching and gathering
     capping (covering with a waterproof material)
     folding and gathering
     crumpling and pinching
     plaiting and binding
     knotting and twisting.

    The distinctive result of these various forms of Shibori is a soft or blurry pattern, quite different from the sharp edged patterns made by using stencils, pastes or wax techniques. Shibori is particularly suited to using traditional plant-derived dyes such as the magical blue indigo.

    A crucial element of Shibori is serendipity, the unexpected, the happy accident — it’s part of its magic. NOTE: Your items to dye must have been washed and dried. Otherwise the indigo dye may not take. Synthetic fibres cannot be dyed with indigo so please only bring natural fibres such as cotton, linen or silk. Mixed fibres can be dyed and can produce interesting effects. Please note that your finished piece will still be wet when you leave the workshop and will need to be washed separately at home to remove any remaining indigo dye. Once washed indigo dyed pieces are completely colour fast and can be washed safely in the washing machine in any coloured wash.

    IMPORTANT: Please bring an apron or wear old clothes. Indigo splashes stain fabric!

  • More details on these future courses coming soon!
  • Saturday 4th March: Dyeing and printing with iron and plants
  • *Sunday March 26th (Mothering Sunday): Make a plant printed lampshade
  • *Weekend April 1st & 2nd: Printing and Bookmaking
  • *Saturday 29th April: Yoga, mindfulness and make an eco-printed wrap
  • Saturday 27th May: Paper-making with plants
  • Sunday 11th June: (Father’s Day) Blueprinting onto textiles and paper (Cyanotypes)
  • Saturday 1st July: Natural Dye workshop

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You can book on here with costs from as little as £65 (those with * have an additional cost) including materials and a simple home-made vegetarian lunch of soup, fruit and cake. There are only 4 spaces per class (yoga/wrap day has 10 spaces), which makes it nice and intimate with plenty of time to talk and really understand the processes. For more information on each class or any questions, please get in touch.

To prepare for the workshops:

We will supply all materials and recycled/organic fabrics for you to sample. (The lampshade class includes the kit to make the shade, the yoga includes an hour and half yoga session and a woollen shawl). Of course you may also bring your own pre-washed personal items to transform such as fashion or small home goods. Ideas include napkins, a tee shirt, pillow case, a summer dress, linen trousers, scarves, a shopping bag or a table runner. The items don’t have to be white, in fact, some of the most interesting transformations happen on items originally with a print or other colour. Loved, gently used or stained items are also a great choice.

Check the labels of the items to make sure they are made from natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool, linen, viscose or silk.

You need to wear clothing that you do not mind getting a drip or two of dye on!

Indigo and Shibori – Make it in Wales residential course in rural Wales

me teaching

I’m working with the lovely Make it in Wales team again next year. It’s held in a beautiful location and you will have three days there working to develop and refine your indigo dyeing. The last one held in July 2016 was a wonderful three days where everyone produced loads of great work and had a relaxing, constructive time. 

On this extensive course, I cover natural and synthetic Indigo, making and maintaining the vat, preparation, folding and stitch resist techniques, eco plant prints, dyeing and finishing. Book now here!

img_8362“I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It was very well run, everything we needed was supplied and our course tutor, Cat Lewis was an inspiring teacher. She taught us how to make an Indigo vat, not just how to use one and after she had demonstrated lots of different tying techniques, allowed us to develop our own special interests. We all ended up with favourite materials and tried inventing our own patterns.
All in all, it was brilliant. I would definitely encourage others to have a go. I am still dyeing with indigo. Cat opened a door for me and I am immensely grateful.”

Private workshops – Make up your own special day at ColourField Studio

We can arrange a day where you learn the processes you want – this could be for your own CPD, to learn a new process, for a birthday, a hen day or other special treat. Just get in touch and we can start planning.

  • For 4 participants for a full day – £65 per person
  • One to one sessions which are particularly helpful as an introduction or for more in depth, specialist techniques start from £175, depending on process and materials required.

Hire the Studio

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The ColourField cozy studio in the heart of Cardiff

You can use ColourField’s workshop facilities for your own print/dye projects. We have a wide range of dyes in stock, as well as facilitating many other processes. The workshop is equipped with:

  • 3m flat-bed print table
  • bullet steamer
  • textile silk screens
  • paper-making screens
  • book binding equipment
  • 3 hot plates
  • washing machine/drier

You must have an initial consultation and induction with Catherine before you can use the facilities, which costs a one off fee of £35 (payable online in advance here). Then you can book studio time at £25 per day. Basic materials are included and additional dyes and fabrics are available to buy if ordered in advance.

Ideas for your own workshop days…

There’s a wealth of processes you can learn with us -from the basics of dyeing and printing, through to more advanced processes.

Natural dyeing and printmaking: Learn to work with the natural world around you, understanding fibres, plants and chemicals, to dye safely and sustainably. Colours will vary depending upon the season and availability. Use recycled textiles and  easily obtainable resources from your garden, park and corner shop!

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Recycled linen and indigo shibori handstitched book
Book making and Binding: From simple single page folded leaflets to complex bound projects and restorations. we offer a programme of one to four-day workshops covering a range of topics. Some are suitable for those with little or no exposure to bookbinding while others are for those with more experience. Makers in other disciplines such as calligraphy, printmaking and textile art will find many of these structures ideal for the display of their work and for use as a more original sketch-book. The overall role of design in making a successful binding is an important aspect of each workshop and time is spent discussing the use of colour, texture and materials as well as the advantages and applications of a particular structure.
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Paper and silk nests
Paper-making and casting: Experiment with this beautiful ancient art for collage work, printmaking and books: Catherine can introduce you to a wide range of techniques: making colourful recycled papers; experimenting with plant papers; paper pulp collage; dipped woven structures; cotton and linen rag papers; handmade paper books; incorporating textiles with paper-making; casting paper for three dimensional structures. For all ages and abilities.Dye and Pigment Discharge/Colour reduction printing for textiles: Learn this fascinating and unpredictable technique for the removal of colour and the alteration of pre-dyed cloth.  Hand techniques such as painting, stencilling and shibori will be used and screen printing is also used depending on facilities available. This makes an ideal 2 day workshop if combined with a dyeing session on day 1. All chemicals and fabrics supplied.Shibori: Experiment with this fascinating technique of applying dyes and creating structure to a variety fabrics. Using hot and cold water dyes, learn how to hand dye fabric and papers to create layers of texture and colour. An exciting process that creates wonderful colours, textures and patterns. Processes suitable for applying to fabric lengths and samples, clothing and accessories. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Velvet Devore
Indigo Devore velvet
Devore printing: Learn how to master this fascinating technique of burning out sections of fabric using hand painting and screen-print application techniques. A chemical paste is applied onto fabric, which is then heated to cause a reaction and reveal layers of transparency and colour. An exciting process that you can apply to many fabrics, creating wonderful textures and patterns. A brilliant addition to your process repertoire if you are a textile printer, weaver or embroiderer. This is only suitable for adults and ideally those with some textile experience.
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Indigo and Cyanotype artist books

Cyanotype Printmaking: Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a stunning cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The first photographic book published by Anna Atkins documenting British Algae, was made using Cyanotypes. It gives a beautiful blue photographic print onto paper and fabric. You will learn to prepare the cyanotype solution, coat and expose materials for cyanotype printing, image-making techniques (photogram, photography and print made from hand made negatives), steps to make a perfect print, how to ‘fix’, dry and flatten prints. All materials are supplied but you can also bring your own papers and fabrics to work onto. An exciting printing process that is easy and achievable by all ages and abilities. And it sits beautifully with indigo dyed silk!There are more workshops available or processes can be combined, such as eco plant printing and bookmaking, screen printing and devore, etc.. contact Catherine to discuss your requirements and ideas.

Who we teach

img_9314Catherine works with all who want to learn about natural dyeing with local plant materials, practice low-impact surface decoration techniques, re-connect with nature and develop artistic eco-literacy. ColourField owner Catherine Lewis works with great enthusiasm and patience, with all ages and abilities, fro
m amateur enthusiasts to professional designers.

With over 20 years experience of teaching and lecturing on textile, surface pattern, print and general visual art techniques, Catherine is comfortable teaching in a variety of settings, from nursery and primary through to community projects, higher education and artist groups.

DPIA painting and collage workshopDPIA drawing workshop

Community groups, after-school, holiday clubs, scout & guide organisations: If you would like to book a group day workshop we are happy to travel to a suitable venue or you can come t our workshop in Cardiff.  We supply all equipment and material for a workshop tailored to meecan be within an at your interests and needs.
Arrange a talk, demo or class:

  • At your meeting venue, we bring all materials and equipment to provide an informative and fun session
  • Suitable for all ages and abilities and enables  all people to try a new skill and craft
  • Illustrated talks with samples and demonstrations to organisations such as college groups, art clubs, WI and community groups
  • 2017 prices: £50 + travel (1-2 hours, up to 30 people)

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Working with Gwent Arts in Health and The Sanctuary Project, I assisted the women in making collages and mono-prints, which represented words and expressions from many languages, helping to develop artistic literacy as well as language and communication skills; their designs were printed onto textiles using my own natural handmade indigo and linseed ink and they were then further embellished and developed with embroidery.
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Screen printing at Made in Roath

Education and Art project clients include:

  • Artes Mundi
  • Arts Council Wales
  • Bishop of Llandaff High School
  • Barnardos Cymru
  • Cardiff and Vale College
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Coleg Sir Gar
  • Communities First
  • Craft in the Bay
  • Craft Angels
  • Criw Celf Cardiff
  • Groundwork Caerphilly
  • Made in Roath
  • Model House Craft & Design Centre
  • Newport children & family services
  • Ysgol Plas Mawr
  • RCT young carers
  • Sanctuary Newport
  • Shire Newton Primary school
  • Specialist Models
  • Surestart Wales
  • Tros Gynnal Plant
  • United Welsh Housing
  • Wales Dynamo project
  • Welsh Government
  • Whitchurch High School
  • Women’s Arts Association