Preparing for the Workshop at The Cooroora Institute and mini Exhibition for Materials of Place meant a new body of work.  I have been exploring my own journeys and surroundings, using the dyeing process for a few years now. This was the first time I had been invited to present and explore. Having accountability and purpose really helped me stay on track, the workshop and exhibition are proving  a wonderful way to hone my skills and make the process repeatable and documented in a way that can be shared. My mud map and the initial collection pictured above is entitled ‘Testing the Water”. This process of recording I plan to use for a larger body of work that will be presented and developed in 2015.

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Testing the Waters, Series Image II Image 2/5 Eco Dyed Silk 300x300mm by Anne Harris  IMG_7159

Working with other people, meant sharing ideas and Ross Annels in his wisdom suggested trying to get the leaf prints, the like you find on the pavement onto the concrete in the new teaching space at the Institute. I wanted to make sure (control) the process so that it was not mistaken for a random act of nature, and carefully collected the wood shavings (from Ross’s wood workshop) and added metal shavings and vinegar to help the process.  The leaf litter I gathered from outside looking at which leaves had already left there effortless prints.  In the effort to manipulate, I overlooked something fundamental, I assumed my knowledge of transferring leaf prints onto fabric could be repeated… and the result after two weeks covered with damp cloths, plastic and boards was disappointing and minimal leaf prints…

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So back to observation and considering facts, not assuming knowledge, the concrete is Alkaline…. in the natural setting the leaves are dampened then dry then dampened again… maybe there is the key, so I will try again to work out how to duplicate what mother nature does with ease. The leaf prints on the right are effortless, my attempt on the left is clumsy and incomplete… the lesson of materials and observation is invaluable, and humbling.

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