TRAVEL : Casa Mae Creative Residency

to kick start 2019, we were invited to participate in Casa Mae’s Share & Stay creative residency. so, we packed our bags, waved goodbye to the grey clouds of London and headed to sunny Lagos, Portugal.

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as part of our residency we were asked to host two workshops, these were the first of the year AND more excitingly the first test run of our most recent experiments.

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at the end of 2018, our open access printing space was closed down, along with this closure came the loss of our ink supplier. as much as this was an inconvenient turn of events it was a brilliant catalyst for experimenting with new processes.whilst we have always used sustainable printing inks made from a water-based solution, free from any plastics, harmful chemicals or toxins, natural colour has been an area we’ve been wanting to explore. we took this opportunity to learn about the extraction of natural dyes, and how to making these into printable inks for textiles.

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for our workshops at Casa Mae we used 3 of our own 100% natural inks, extracted from avocado stones, eucalyptus leaves and old coffee grounds. making beautiful earthy tones of pink, orange & brown.

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natural colour is a process we are yet to master as there are many more variables with the colour and light fastness of using natural printing inks and dyes. we plan to keep experimenting with this method, moving forward all of aeand’s workshops will offer students the opportunity to experiment with printing textiles using both water based & natural inks.

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Alessandra Chambers