Eco-print Intensive (3 days, with 2 day extension option)

Eco-print Intensive (3 days, with 2 day extension option)

from 400.00

Learn to achieve sophisticated, richly coloured, three dimensional surface designs combining whole cloth natural dyeing with eco-printing.

*Only 6 spaces available in this intensive workshop to ensure maximum attention/support for each student.*

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~ About The Instructor ~

Mel Sweetnam is an ecological fibre artist, with particular expertise in botanical dyes. She is the founder of Mamie’s Schoolhouse, as well as the Cape Breton Fibre Trail, and is well-known for a range of botanical dye techniques, particularly her eco-print work. She is a juried member of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, and the South Haven Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

~ Please Read All Information Prior To Registering ~

When: Friday 16 - Sunday 18 August (3 days), 10 am - 4 pm each day

2 Day Extension Option: Monday 19 - Tuesday 20 August (see below for details)

Where: Mamie’s Schoolhouse, 97 Rooster Hill Road, Goose Cove, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Class Size: min 4, max 6 to maximize support and feedback for each student

Age & Experience: 18 years or older; beginners to those looking to improve/expand their skill-set

Registration Fee:

<please note: at checkout, this web platform only calculates tax for customers with a Canadian billing address; those with billing addresses in other countries, will be sent a separate invoice for Nova Scotia’s 15% harmonized sales tax>

3 day workshop: $600 + tax includes

  • 3 days of instruction

  • catered vegetarian lunch each day

  • approximately 6 metres of high quality fabrics (a mix of protein and cellulose fibres) to create a broad range of samples

  • all mordants and dyes (at least 2 classic dyes, including indigo and madder, and at least two dyes from native species)

  • detailed handout

2 day extension: $400 + tax includes

  • 2 days of additional instruction/assistance for those wishing to work with large pieces of fabric and/or clothing items, or those who wish to extend their experimentation from the preceding three days (fabric/clothing not included; see Workshop Outline below for details)

  • catered vegetarian lunch each day

  • all mordants and dyes, and large vats to accommodate larger pieces

  • detailed handout

  • NOTE: only students registered for the 3 day workshop may register for the 2 day extension


~ Workshop Outline ~

3 Day Workshop:

In this workshop, students will learn to achieve sophisticated, richly coloured, three dimensional surface designs. Students will gain an advanced skill set of methods to prepare cloth, plant material, and carrier cloths, and how to integrate these into whole cloth natural dyeing with eco-printing.

Plant material will be collected, as a group, from Mamie’s Schoolhouse’s organic property and/or nearby roadsides.

Students Will Learn:

  • dye studio safety practices

  • about growing and/or ethically/sustainably foraging plants with natural mordant and/or dye properties

  • several different mordant treatments for protein and cellulose based fibres

  • what a carrier cloth is and different ways to use them to achieve various results

  • how to use natural, plastic-free resist/barrier materials to create highly defined prints

  • how to use different natural substances (mordants, assists and modifiers), alone and in combination, to expand your dye palette

  • how to explore plant pigment, tannin, and discharge properties to achieve more layered and/or three dimensional effects

  • how to make dye vats from plant material for whole cloth dyeing

  • how to integrate whole cloth dyeing with eco-printing to vastly expand the range of surface design effects

  • design considerations for effective surface design results

  • natural post-dye treatments to protect fibres

  • how to choose, prepare and store plant material for later use

2 Day Extension Option:

  • methods for effective printing and dyeing of large pieces of fabric will be taught (fabric not included in registration fee, but can be purchased from Mamie’s Schoolhouse, or students can bring their own yardage, in which case detailed specifications, links to a number of suppliers, etc. will be sent well in advance)

  • methods for working with existing natural fibre clothing items (which students may bring) also will be taught, including considerations for dealing with tricky layers, folds, linings, etc.

  • some additional mordant options will be taught to expand your repertoire even further

    ~ About Registration ~

Payment Terms:

  • Payment is due at time of registration via this web site. At this time, we can not take registrations in person, by phone, email, etc.

  • Cancellations on or before February 28 will be charged a $100 + tax administration fee.

  • Cancellations on or after April 30 receive a 50% refund.

  • Cancellations on or after May 31 receive no refund.

  • With permission of Mamie’s Schoolhouse, registration is transferrable to someone else nominated by the registered student (Mamie’s Schoolhouse is not responsible for finding a replacement if you are unable to attend).

  • Anyone registering for someone else is responsible for that registration, and will continue to be the point of contact on all related matters.

The Registration Fee Does Not Include The Following, Which Are The Student's Responsibility:

  • Accommodation

  • Transportation to/from Cape Breton, to/from the workshop each day, and all other local travel

  • Travel insurance

  • Meals (other than the catered lunches noted aboe)

~ About The Venue ~

  • 25 minutes north-east of Baddeck (the nearest full service community), and one hour from Sydney (the island’s largest community and location of the nearest airport), Mamie’s Schoolhouse is located on 70 peaceful, organic acres stretching west from the North River and the world famous Cabot Trail, in the beautiful, small community of Goose Cove.

  • There is plenty of nearby accommodation, including an ever growing number of Airbnb options.