Features, Uncategorized, Workshop

Leon Summer Well-being Festival


This summer the restaurant chain LEON ran a wellbeing festival for the restaurant managers of their 57 UK and European restaurants, their new one soon to open in Washington USA and the restaurant support team. This two-day event takes place every year at John Vincent’s family home in Sussex and the event really is a family get together. The ‘mums’ and ‘dads’ (that’s what they call their restaurant managers) and the restaurant support team gathered together in one of the fields and started with a ball game as a way of breaking the ice and introducing any new ‘family’ members to each other. The event, like the LEON brand, is well thought out, wholesome and inclusive.

Next a session of Chi-gung (“Life Energy Cultivation”) took place and after that everyone gathered into groups to take part in different events throughout the day. These included swimming, yoga, cooking, movement and play, tennis, home-made remedies and the workshop I was there to teach, low tech printing onto calico bags.

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Nichola, one of the ‘mums’ from LEON was there to help me, she was brilliant and as I ran six sessions back to back throughout the day, with a break for a delicious LEON lunch, I couldn’t have done it without her.


I showed everyone a look book of marks that can be made using very simple items such as fruit and vegetables, blocks of wood wrapped in elastic bands, pipe lagging cut into segments  and erasers on the end of pencils.


Everyone then had a go on pieces of paper so they could work out their own designs.


Then to get the feel of printing onto  fabric everyone printed onto a piece of calico.


Once satisfied with design and colour choices each person printed onto a bag. The bags were hung up in the garden to dry with the names of the designer on them.


Throughout the rest of their stay everyone posted thoughtful messages into the bags of one another. It was such a glorious event and I felt honoured to be part of it. Looking back at the images I took that day you can see people totally engaged in the activity, printing anywhere and everywhere; at the table, on the floor, on chairs or on their laps, completely absorbed in the moment which is what creativity is all about.





Eight easy fabric prints using low tech materials including string, pencil erasers, pipe lagging and vegetables

As many of you may have seen in one of my previous posts it is very simple to create patterns using little more than things you find around the house or in the garden. I have a you Tube video that shows using  a pepper to make a print. The designs below have been made with all different items. Some of the designs use  the same method but are printed in a different colour way. They are all printed onto fabrics using Dylon fabric paint. The prints are  fixed by ironing onto the back of the fabric once the paint had dried


This first print is made using pipe lagging to create a circle and a dot from an eraser at the end of the end of a pencil.  The second print uses the same method but in a different colour way.


The print below was printed using a small red cabbage cut in half. IMG_2942

The next design was made in two stages. First of all a halved potato was used to create the pink back ground. This was left to dry before the next part of the design was added. This is a celery end, the bit you usually throw away or put in a stock pot.  The celery head was dipped in red and applied on top of the pink potato dots. It looks quite rose like.


The blue and lime design below has been created using a small block of wood with elastic bands wrapped round it dipped in blue paint and then the lime dots were added later using the pencil eraser once again.


Pipe lagging and pencil erasers came into their own again for this design. IMG_2944.jpg

The  circular design is made up of a new potato cut in half and that old pencil eraser making dots round each circle. IMG_2946

I love this design it is another block this time wrapped in string printed in black and, yes you’ve guessed it, that old eraser again this time creating red dots.