After registration, we elected to work inside, as it was a sunny, windy day (the sea is, after all, only a few minutes' drive away....), though there is ample room inside and out to host a craft activity.
We started with the boring stuff (theory!) and moved onto tie-ing techniques followed by working with colour. The ladies made me laugh with their cry 'Where's the tea?! Is the kettle broken?' so there were several breaks while Vivienne, our hostess at the Pink Haus, provided us with the sustenance to continue.
As the Garden Route is in the grip of a drought and there is a hosepipe ban on, Vivienne provided us with water for dyeing from one of her precious tanks of water which she fills with run-off (dew mostly but there has been some rain recently) from her roofs.
My students were great sports, all crowding around the pot perched on the gas while I taught them the graded/tonal colour technique. It was a scene straight from Macbeth: 'Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and dye-pot bubble!' There are more photographs of the class in the Gallery (under Arts&Crafts).
We had time to play with various heating techniques such as the microwave and the kettle techniques and the ladies learned to tie organic and geometric patterns, as well as the Quilters' crush (which is remarkably simple and produces the most beautiful fabric). Right at the end, every lady 'revealed' one of her dye works - much ooooh-ing and aaah-ing at their results!
Everybody had brought their old containers with them and at the end of the lesson, split up the used dye to take home and play with.
When everybody had left, I was exhausted but inspired by the creativity in the class. I just had to go out and indulge my other creative passion - photography. There is just SO much to see at the Pink Haus (note to photographers: you need your Macro lens to do the fynbos justice, and you need the telephoto for the wildlife and birdlife all over the property...just take ALL your lenses!) and the surrounding countryside that my camera-finger was positively itching! Although Vivenne and her family have only been in the Pink Haus since May 2010, she is already quite knowledgeable about the area and makes a wonderful tour guide. She was able to point me in the right direction for some of the most beautiful scenery (and wildlife!) around Botlierskop.
I was so terribly sad to leave that peaceful place, to say good-bye to my wonderful hosts, the goats, the dogs, the chickens, the fynbos......but I will be back, if only on holiday at the cottage!
Thank you again to my enthusiastic dye-ladies and my hosts at the Pink Haus!