I spend a lot of my time chatting to students located all over the world as I support them through their online trainings, so it was lovely to be contacted by someone a lot close to home with an invite to meet in person.
Alex Lowman is the course leader on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Runshaw Adult College in Chorley, Lancashire. She took part in last year's inaugural run of Natural Fabric Dyeing: Colour, Print and Pattern and has since inspired a new generation of creatives to try plant dyes.
Alex recently invited me to attend the private view of her students' graduation work and I was thrilled to accept.
It was so lovely to meet her in person last week, along with her students whom she has so obviously inspired to produce brilliant work.
Alex's feedback about the training she took was really complimentary so it's especially rewarding for me to realise that her love of the work she did with me has now passed on to these young designers. Take a look at their work below and please give them a follow on instagram by clicking each image.
I remember my Foundation year very fondly. Even though I had been to a creative school, this year of experimentation without expectation was when I produced my best work.
It's an intense and challenging experience that many universities no longer require, which is a shame because it builds so much creative confidence prior to the narrowing, specialising and moulding process of a degree course.
The environmental implications of arts and crafts didn't seem much of concern back in the 90s. Perhaps because this generation now have to handle their forebears earlier consumption, a more conscious creativity is emerging.
It was really encouraging to see so many students using natural dyes instead of petrochemical based synthetic colours and it seemed to me that Alex's holistic tuition had allowed them to explore the deeper connection to nature that can accompany a natural dye practice.
Thanks so much to the students and staff for giving me such a warm welcome. I'm wishing you all the best of luck in your future studies and careers.
If you'd like to learn how to colour, print and pattern cloth using plant dyes, please check out the online training Natural Fabric Dyeing: Colour, Print and Pattern.