In 2010 I suffered from a concussion, and for almost two years I was unable to read, do computer work, watch television, listen to the radio or do a lot of interacting with people. Although this time was very difficult, it was also a time of great joy as I was led back to a passion I previously had. I fell in love again with creating art using fibers, textiles and fashion.
A neurologist suggested that I join a small group which would enable me to learn something new within a safe environment. As a result, I joined the Mississauga Handweavers’ and Spinners’ Guild with the idea of returning to the weaving that I had enjoyed while completing my Fashion Design Diploma & Degree at Ryerson University. However, the interaction of the shuttle being thrown over and under the warp caused me to have severe headaches and the spinning seemed to worsen my concussion symptoms. Fortunately, the guild held workshops in various art forms, one of which was felting. l fell in love with felting fibers and the process of felting. I began to felt various items, went on several studio tours and was encouraged and delighted by the creativity of other people.
When I saw Marta Mouka’s Eco Prints, I fell in love with this technique. I immediately signed up for two and three day workshops and an online course with Nicola Brown. I began following blogs and experimenting with my own eco prints.
Eco printing enables me to marry my love of nature, hiking and foraging with designing and engineering prints on natural fibers. I use silk, wool, linen and cotton and sometimes once loved materials to create beautiful pieces to be worn or to decorate our places of relaxation. Natural dyes give the luster, depth and richness of nature that makes each piece truly one of a kind. Discovering new plants to print has become a fun and wonderful passion of mine.
This year, I began experimenting with the interaction between felting and eco-printing to further explore how natural plant materials and fibers can work together. Through the use of fibers like bamboo, banana, tencel, which do not take the natural dyes in the same manner as my base materials, I can add yet another dimension to prints. As well, I have begun to return to my fashion interests and I am now creating unique garments and accessories which complement a wide range of body types.
I hope that you enjoy your new garment or decorative art as much as I have truly enjoyed the creation process. It is a completely natural and unique piece whose colour and designs were created by nature’s beauty.