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Beeswax Wrap Workshop - A Collaboration with The Tender Gardener

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Beeswax Wrap Workshop Singapore

Olivia and I are running the 3rd session of the Beeswax Wrap workshop at the Funan Showsuite. We are very excited to see how this has taken off in a positive manner and decided to run another session.  Details of the workshop are below.

Looking for a safe, natural and reusable alternative to plastic wrap and aluminium foil? In this fun, hands on workshop, learn how to make your own zero-waste beeswax food storage wraps for use at home! These perfect for encasing freshly cut fruit and vegetables, and sealing a variety of cooked food, and sauces in containers.
We are pleased to collaborate with Funan for this session. During this 2-hour session, textile artist, Agatha “Agy” Lee, and self sufficiency advocate, Olivia Choong, will guide you step by step in preparing a delicately scented beeswax mixture for application on any natural fabric, and evenly setting the mixture to create a beautiful beeswax wrap, ready for you to take home for immediate use!
Once you learn how simple it is to make your own beeswax wraps, you will no longer wish to buy (and throw) plastic wrap and aluminium foil.
Each ticket is priced at $85 per participant, and includes all materials. Limited seats available, so book your spot today!

What will I learn?
We will teach you how to make your own beeswax wraps.

Skills:
  • Adequate preparation of beeswax mixture
  • Even application on cloth
  • Uniformly setting the mixture on cloth
  • How to choose and prepare cloth for beeswax application
All materials provided!
  • Beeswax
  • Pine rosin
  • Jojoba oil
  • 2 sets pre-cut cloth per participant (one 5″ x 5″ for a mug and one 9″ x 9″ for a bowl)
What to expect?
In this interactive 2 hour session, expect a fun learning experience:
  • Hands-on learning with both facilitators
  • Relaxing, cosy and supportive environment
  • Minimum 5 pax to conduct the workshop
Please note: this workshop is not suitable for those who have allergies to beeswax, pine rosin and jojoba oil.




Interpreting Mending - A Series of Postcards Part 2

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Interpreting Mending - A Series of Postcards Part 2
It took me a while but I am so glad that I didn't rush through the sewing for the postcards.  I am so pleased with the results. Please read the descriptions of each piece and I hope you can see where the inspiration came from.  Find out more about the process of making them in this post.
These postcards will be on display at Pameran Poskad from 15 - 24 July at ION Art Gallery, ION Orchard, Singapore.

Textile Art by Agy - Mending

Postcard 1/10 Mending - Superficial  1
Price - SG$48
On the surface everything looks great, but peel back the layers and you will find the journey of pain and healing. 
Textile waste
Naturally dyed with eucalyptus leaves


Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 2/10 Mending - Superficial 2 
Price - SG$48
Sometimes mending just covers things up. Are we really finding a solution?
Textile waste, free motion embroidery
Naturally dyed with eucalyptus leaves.




Textile Art by Agy - Mending

Postcard 3/10 Mending - Painful Memories 1 
Price - SG$78
The world is full of anguish and despair. We desperately try to fix it but it creates one problem after another. In doing so, we create painful memories.
Textile waste, free motion embroidery, handstitching, 
Natural dyes with avocado, eucalyptus leaves


Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 4/10  Mending - Painful Memories 2
Price - SG$78
I took inspiration for this from the patches used to repair clothes or quilts. Sometimes the mending only covers the bad and isn't the solution, hence the warped stitching and patches in this piece.
Textile waste, free motion embroidery, handstitching.


Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 5/10 Mending the Mind
Price - SG$88
The mind is so complex that it is difficult to pin point a remedy to alleviate the emotional turmoil a person could be going through. It could run deeper than we think, and no quick fix will be able to pull the person through all the mind's layers and into the light. 
Textile waste, free motion embroidery, handstitching


Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 6/10 Mending Relationships
Price - SG$58
The relationships between you and your friends changes over time. Sometimes it's good, but other times it just disintegrates. How do we reestablish these broken connections? May be it takes mending what's on the inside first before offering your friendship again. 
Textile waste, free motion embroidery, handstitching 
Natural dyes - eucalyptus leaves



Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 7/10  Mend Nature or Fix Ourselves
Price - SG$68
Nature has its own way of resetting itself, so we shouldn't be mending nature but rather changing the way we behave towards it. It could be consuming less or going vegan. Every action counts! 
Textile waste, free motion and hand embroidery, 
Natural dyes with eucalyptus bark and leaves
Botanical printing - rambutan leaf

Textile Art by Agy - Mending

Postcard 8/10 Mending - Blinded 
Price - SG$58
Are we blinded by our own experiences? Sometimes what we believe to be the solution is just something that restricts us from seeing the bigger picture. This is a reversible postcard.
Textile waste, 
Free motion embroidery
Natural dye with mango leaves



Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 9/10 Mending - Beauty in the Broken 1
Price - SG$58
Part of my slowing down journey involves embracing imperfections - I try to remind myself, don't sweat the small stuff! 
Textile waste
Naturally dyed - mango leaves and avocado
Free motion embroidery


Textile Art by Agy - Mending
Postcard 10/10 Mending - Beauty in the Broken 2
Price - SG$58
Embracing imperfections in life.
Textile waste
Naturally dyed mango leaf, avocado and tumeric
Free motion embroidery

Interpreting Mending - A Series of Postcards Part 1

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Have you heard of Pameran Poskard?  I was aware of this art exhibition of postcards but I didn't realise that anyone could take part.   This year, my friends encouraged me to participate and pointed out that the works did not have to be on paper (as a conventional postcard would be).  So, last month I got started and created my textile art postcards based on my favourite theme of mending.

Sketchbook illustrations

But this time, it was an interpretation of mending - what does it mean, what are the different types of mending and how can it be used, how does it affect us as a society? I took my sketchbook out and started scribbling words that came to mind, and sketched different interpretations of mending. It's a very fulfilling part of the journey to creating art. Even though you may not use all your ideas for the project, it's very useful to go back to the sketchbook in the future to reflect and improve on the ideas. I find that an illustration / sample that I had done would find itself useful a few months or even years later!

Sketchbook Illustrations - Interpreting Mending

My Interpretations of Mending

My initial thoughts when thinking of mending were darning, weaving, fix, stitch, weld, kintsugi and fabric (amongst others). I suppose these are related to what I have been advocating - taking good care of possessions and making them last longer through mending.   
I dived deeper - when does other types of mending occur, what is the result? Words that came to mind were protection, safety, scars of abuse / violence/ tragedy / instability, superficial solutions/ mending etc. I then transformed these words into illustrations.

Interpreting Them into Stitch

It took me a while to interpret the illustrations into stitch, but I got there!


I did not use any new materials (except for the thread) in the project. 

Textile Art Sketch Book

Since this project is about mending, I wanted to stay true to the meaning behind it and use whatever materials I had in the home.

Textile Art Sketch Book

Final Works to be  Exhibited

Stay tuned! I will update in a later post. See the postcards here!
The work will be exhibited and on sale at Pameran Poskad, 15 - 24 June, ION Art Gallery, ION Orchard.  Details here. 

Natural Dye & Upcycling Workshops

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Natural Dye & Upcycling Workshops
April and May has been really eventful with my first natural dye workshop, and upcycling sessions at Fashion Revolution SG and Fashion Makerspace. I didn't even get time to update my blog about what has been happening until now!

Upcycling Workshop in Singapore


I was very honoured to work with Swapaholic and provide an upcycling workshop for the VIP participants of their clothes swap. Over 10 guests had the privilege of making their own fashion statement necklaces from upcycled t-shirts.  Don't you think they had a lot of fun with the upcycling?
Thank you to Swapaholic!


Restyle Your Wardrobe Upcycling Workshop


My upcycling participants also got very creative at the 13th workshop of Restyle Your Wardrobe. In fact, I cannot believe that this upcycling workshop is now into its fourth year. It feels like yesterday when I had my first one at the Science Centre. I remember very clearly that no one turned up and the organiser very kindly decided to have the volunteers take part instead. I was actually very disappointed and thought that upcycling has no place in Singapore.  However, fast forward to today and now everyone is talking about upcycling. We even have events just on the topic itself. How strange, yet exciting at the same time.  This time around, I had my first male participant. He signed up with his wife, and I was interested what he would bring and make. Here are all the participants with their creations - cushion cover, skirts, tissue box cover and tops!

Next workshop - If you are keen to take part, I am having my next session at Fashion Makerspace on 29 July, 1 - 5.30pm. 

Restyle Your Wardrobe Upcycling Workshop

Are you interested in natural dyeing? 

My first natural workshop in collaboration with GUILD was a success. Participants were curious on what local flora could be used in the dye process. They came, they chose their dyes and they went home to continue the experiment.  Take a look at the photos on my facebook page and one of the participant's results
And if you are keen to take part in my next session with GUILD, I am having session #2 on 15 July

Natural Dyes - Rainbow Eucalyptus, Beetroot, Roselle

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Natural Dyes - Rainbow Eucalyptus, Beetroot, Roselle
The weather has been very strange lately, and it's also affecting my natural dyeing process. We are supposed to be well into the dry season but we have been getting alternating hot and very wet weather. This really frustrates me when I am trying to experiment with my natural dyeing. It's really important to plan, but when I decide to forage or start my dye pot, I see dark clouds outside. There was one week when it rained buckets and I only just managed to collect some eucalyptus leaves and bark to experiment. However, the result was so different from the plant matter collected during the dry season. Nature does have its way of giving us a variety of natural dye colours.

Anyway, I have been conducting more experiments, and this is an update to you all. I'm looking forward to more upcycling with the use of natural dyes!

Rainbow Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus Deglupta

I do store some of my natural dye material in the freezer. They are carefully wrapped or stored in boxes placed on one side of the freezer shelf. My husband has joked that it's now become a garden - yes, very funny (not). Last November, I managed to take a trip down to the Tanjong Katong area to visit GUILD, which is way in the east of Singapore. Along the way, I stopped by the  Katong Park because I had read about the rainbow eucalyptus tree (aka Mindanao Gum, eucalyptus deglupta) and also I thought it was about time I explored other types of eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus


The rainbow eucalyptus tree at Katong Park has been classified as a heritage tree, probably because it was planted when the grounds was an army fort during the British colonial days. As you can see from the picture, it's not called a rainbow eucalyptus plant for no reason. I was only able to get a close up of the tree - it's huge - as the park was undergoing renovation.

I managed to get some fallen bark, and because I had difficult identifying the leaves on the ground, I was unable to collect any that I could confidently say are of the rainbow eucalyptus. I need to try harder.

Once I put the bark in the pot, I was thinking how fun it would be to get a rainbow of colours from the tree bark - the greens, reds and browns. In the end, I managed to get a beautiful deep brown. I didn't expect anything other than that.

Natural Dye Workshop Singapore

Beetroot

I think beetroot like the red leaf hibiscus  was a disappointment. The swatches of fabric faded within 3 days of being dyed with the beetroot waste from the Native bar. Wouldn't it be good just to produce a red from natural dyeing? I definitely need to explore more.

Roselle 

Roselle is a fruit that's very common in south east Asia. We use the fruit to make a red drink called roselle hibiscus tea, and it is said to have medicinal powers! I'm not sure about the medicinal value but it sure does taste like a healthier version of Ribena.  Anyway, since it gives a red colour why not try making natural dyes from it, right?  I had obtained some dried Roselle calyces from the zerowaste bar, Native and got into action.



I soaked the calyces in hot water and dyed 3 pieces of prepped fabric that were then:
a) kept in my notebook for one month
b) hung in the sun for one month
c) washed in water 4 times over a period of a month

I noticed that although the Roselle gave a distinct purple red, it did fade in water. This is very unfortunate, but I think the pieces would be good for wall hangings or anything that does not involve washing.

Natural Dye Workshop Singapore
(L to R - in the dark, in the sun, washed frequently)

Are you interested in coming for my next natural dye workshop?

I am working with GUILD again to bring you another session on 15th July, 11am at Funan Showsuite.   We had such a blast at the first session on 5th May (as you can see in these photos).  Natural dyeing may sound daunting but I guide you guide you step by step on how to use the power of the sun to create your own beautifully dyed mini furoshiki handkerchief ready for you to wrap your bento box or carry your barang barang.

Once you learn this technique, you can start your dyeing at home! Sign up here.

Natural Dye Workshop Singapore

Hapazome - Leaf Dye

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Hapazome - Leaf Dye

Lately I have been getting feedback that the traditional natural dye methods that I have been experimenting with take too long. I am not really sure what to say to that. Processes take time and with time, the product becomes more valued and admired.  An analogy I would say is the process of making wine? The longer it ferments, the more robust the taste of the drink. Well, I was leafing (no pun intended!) through India Flint's Eco Colour Book (a wonderful gift from a generous friend) and found hapazome, or leaf dye in Japanese. Hapazome involves transferring the colours and the image of the plant material directly onto the fabric or a piece of paper. In this case, the dye is not "integrated" with the fibers but merely placed on the surface.

To be honest, it does look very pretty because plants such as the blue pea flower, or the red leaf hibiscus give bright colours. This was unexpected because I tried an immersive bath with red leaf hibiscus and I got an abysmal grey. With Hapazome, you can even lay out the plant material like a drawing and stitch over them with embroidery work like I have done here. Doesn't it look dainty? I'm very pleased with the result.

Natural dyes, hapazome and free motion embroidery by Agy

Hapazome Natural Dye Workshop

Hapazome Natural Dye Workshop

Will it last? 
I have used soya milk and alum to prepare the fabric before hammering away. Others have suggested using soda ash to mordant the fabric. Nevertheless, the colours will fade and the image will smudge if you transfer it to water. So, the suggestion is not to wash it at all. It works perfectly as a collage of colours to hang up in the living room. 

Workshop at The Green Collective SG

Hapazome is another way of transferring colour to different materials. As you can see from the picture below, the best part is you get to transfer the actual plant print too. On top of that there is the added advantage of relieving stress through pounding the leaves and flowers using a hammer or a stone.  It sounds very easy but there are a lot of tips and tricks that I will share with you at my workshop at The Green Collective SG. The workshop is happening on 19 May (2.30pm - 4pm).

Venue: The Green Collective SG, #01-26/27, OneKM Mall
Nearest MRT: Paya Lebar (Circle and EW Line), 8 minute walk from the station
Sign up link

Hapazome Leaf Dye Workshop

What is The Green Collective SG?
More than a dozen homegrown eco brands have teamed up to launch a multi-brand concept store on the first floor of OneKM Mall.  From April to 3 July 2018, visitors can look forward to shopping from a range of sustainable products, and participate in regular workshops ranging from making soaps, natural dyes and transforming upcycled textiles to handcrafted necklaces. Find out more here.

The Green Collective Singapore


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