How happy I was to discover that Susan Martin, a hand spinner and plant dyer who lives in Cilgerran, was to run a day’s course in plant dyeing at Coppicewood College, just a couple of miles away from Rhosygilwen (and even less as the crow flies). What an opportunity to learn from an experienced dyer.
So on Thursday 12th June, off I went to enjoy a day in the woods with fellow textile enthusiasts. And what a lovely day it was.
Coppicewood College has no running water, and no electricity – all of the work they do there is carried out by hand, using hand and foot powered tools.
So we found ourselves in a lovely woodland shelter with a wood burning stove, using the plants around us to colour wool and cotton. A couple of wanders to gather goodies – though it should be noted that Susan is very organised and furnished us with previously gathered dyestuff as well as pre-mordanted wool and cotton (alum mordant, none of the nasties…)
So we set to with oak chips, birch leaves, birch wood, nettles and lichen (wind blown only). The image at the start of this article shows the spoils of our labour. Whilst the other images show Susan in action, Coppicewood itself, and the lovely shelter. It was a glorious day in many respects, and both the College and Susan are highly recommended.
If you would like to find out more about Susan’s spinning and dyeing courses, you can contact her via email.