Machen Meadows

Collaborative project between Machen Primary School and Claire Cawte, textile artist, learning about natural sustainable plant dye process and developing leaf pounding and dyeing skills. With intergrated cross-curricular links to include literacy, numeracy, sustainability and art.
Following discussions between artist and school lead Jen Cox, the project consisted of the Artist working alongside members of staff modelling and mentoring the development of skills and use of resources to extract colour and dye using natural materials. This was  an innovative approach which made full use of locally sourced materials and kitchen food waste to dye fabric.

Learning what is sustainable and how to use plants, leaves, berries and spices to dye fabric.

Introducing the children to a variety of skills, learning of the processes involved including preparing fabric before dyeing, extracting colour from plant material ready to immerse fabric to dye as well as leaf pounding, solar dyeing and eco-print methods.

Identify safe local trees, plants, bark and flowers and encourage collecting food waste from home such as onion skins, avocado stones, carrot tops, orange peel etc

Inspired by the undulating Welsh hills and making the link from the childrens meadow drawings and Angie Lewin wood block prints,  a memorable art piece was created by collaging the naturally dyed colourful swatches of fabric, folding, bonding, scrunching and the growing Machen meadows came alive.

A lovely article was written by journalist Ben Barker for the Caerphilly Observer, to read more click here