Helen Deighan – May 2016

Our speaker this month was Helen Deighan and her talk was entitled “Going Potty”.  Helen studied textiles at College and then went on to teach.  She had to invent a special way of helping disabled students to follow her technique of dyeing fabrics and she established her well known method of using plastic bags to contain the products.
Helen was a very generous speaker and explained that she only uses three colours for dyeing, turquoise, lemon yellow and magenta.  She talked about using plastic bags and cat litter trays, the different results obtained when the fabric is wet and when it is dry and the various folds, scrunches and twists to obtain the different tie dye patterns.
Whilst visiting a French market Helen saw coil pots constructed from fabric wrapped around a washing line and on her return she experimented with the idea.  To begin with she stitched the coil in place by hand but now uses a zigzag on the machine and now sells a special cord which she sourced from China to help with the construction.  Helen showed us a wonderful variety of pots and bags made from her own colourful hand dyed fabrics, bought materials, sari silks and yarns. Helen has written a number of books on dyeing, creating coil pots and braids. 
This was Helen’s final talk and workshop because she wants to spend time on her new interest, spinning and weaving and she showed us examples of her work.

Report by Ros

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