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...
After a bit of a quiet, slightly disorientated week I finally made it into my studio on Friday morning to print some cheese cloth scarves and test a piece of hemp canvas I found in the week. Part of my disorientation stemmed from having handed all my sewing work to someone else to do after weeks of preparing the fabrics...I kind of felt, Now what? except that I still want to do much more, but I ran out of fabric and my supplier ran out too! So I had to look else where...I found a last meter of hemp canvas at the 'old price' and bought it promptly to test. I love the results. The canvas is not ultra absorbent which resulted in a beautiful watercolour effect...I'm hoping to use these in a collaboration with Lisa from Colony at 44 Stanley who works in leather.
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