Natural DYeing & Eco-printing playday
I had the great pleasure to have three ladies over for a eco-printing playdate! We first went for a foraging walk in my neighbourhood with long strips of fabric flapping behind us. We picked bits of leaves and flowers and rolled them into the fabric. we soaked the resulting bundles in vinegar and rusted iron water and then steamed them for two hours...The results were beautiful! The rest of the day we just played around with what we found in our respective gardens (lots of autumn leaves, eucalyptus, rose leaves, onion leaves) and bits of fabrics and old t-shirts. The ladies were so excited about the potential and the pure joy of co-creating with nature...A beautiful day well spent.
As I mentioned before, I have a few retailers interested in my eco-printed products. As with any new concept (in South Africa mine is a first!) the process of developing products for retail environments can be very exciting and sometimes quite frustrating. One has to find the sweet spot between expressing yourself through your medium and what the retailer feels confident and comfortable with. It is a journey of testing boundaries and compromise but when you find the sweet spot it can be immensely beneficial for both parties. When I was a year into my mosaic explorations I worked with Mike McCay to develop a range for Congo Joe, a lovely decor shop in Killarney Mall. He trusted me implicitly, knew he had found a good product and jumped at the opportunity to make it exclusive to his shop. The synergy was enormously beneficial for both of us - it gave me the opportunity to grow my skill level and my business and he had access to an exclusive range of very beautiful mosaics that fitted with his existing range like a match made in heaven.
I'm currently working on a range for Lunar at 44 Stanley, we are still working towards the sweet spot where trust and excitement from their side will allow me to do my best work...sometimes they love what I do and at other times they are concerned that it may not be quite right...we'll find our way.
Finding that there is a severe shortage of opportunities for makers to sell their goods in Johannesburg, we will be organising a Makers' Pop-up event towards spring (October?). If you are a maker of any kind please contact me so we can get the ball rolling on this.
STUDIO IRA BEKKER
Welcome! Feel free to treat this website like an open studio and browse around. Look at the images, dream about the workshops and join me soon for a morning or a day or a week of just being. To me the creative state is our most natural state so that when I can just be and engage creatively I am at my very happiest and most settled in my being.
So this website is both a sharing and an invitation to join me in this wonderful creative adventure. Sign up for my blog, come back for inspiration and join me for a workshop. Hope to meet you soon…
This week in my studio...
I am very very excited! I delivered my first collection of home ware products to Lunar at 44 Stanley yesterday. Beautiful grey linen tablecloths dyed with blue gum and rust, gorgeous runners eco-printed onto a natural cotton/linen, simple grey serviettes as well as two tone ones with hand stitching, cushion covers and lovely bags with eco-printing and leather shoulder straps. I am very curious to see how these products will be received as it is as far as I know a first in South Africa. Please go over and have a look and let me know what you think....
As my products are on consignment at Lunar I had the opportunity to do the packaging and labelling myself and I'm very happy with the outcome. I had the basic info printed on one side of a business card and am handwriting the other side...a time consuming but worthwhile exercise.
I am also launching my online shop which will be a bit of a work in progress for a while but will give you a good idea of what is available. Unfortunately the prices are set in dollars and I don't have the option to change it to rands so there are discrepancies...let me know if you are interested in a product and I'll send you the price.
Need more info for Zendoodle workshops?