Intro to Eco-printing (1 day; multiple dates)

Intro to Eco-printing (1 day; multiple dates)


Learn how to achieve clear prints on fabric using organic leaves, flowers and other plant material. No artificial dyes, inks, pigments, etc. are used - only those extracted directly from organic plant material.

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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 very 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: June 29, 2019 OR August 3, 2019; 10 am to 4 pm

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

    Class Size: max 12 to ensure ample support 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>

    $120 + tax includes

    • full instruction

    • catered vegetarian lunch

    • silk fabric samples, and a silk scarf

    • all supplies and equipment

    • detailed handout


    ~ Workshop Outline ~

    In this workshop, students will learn how to achieve clear prints on fabric using organic leaves, flowers and other plant material.

    Plant material will be collected, as a group, from Mamie’s Schoolhouse’s organic property and/or nearby roadsides. No artificial dyes or inks are used in this process, just the pigments naturally found in plants.

    Students Will Learn:

    • dye studio safety practices

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

    • about natural mordant treatments for ensuring that plant pigments properly bond to your fibres (a mordant is a natural substance that forms a molecular bridge between natural fibres and natural dyes)

    • how to use different natural mordants, assists and modifiers to shift pigment colours

    • considerations for effective surface design results

    • how to maximize the transfer of plant pigments, and the shapes and surface details of plant material, onto your fabric

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

    • as it is the easiest fibre type with which to learn this beautiful technique, students will be provided with silk samples and a silk scarf for printing in class/to take home

    • in the interests of time, the fabric will be pre-mordanted but, as noted above, students will be taught how to do it themselves at home

      ~ 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.