Camp Creative, Bellingen, NSW

Camp Creative

Ten days on the north coast at the beautiful town of Bellingen was great for stimulating the creative juices.  And it’s the home of a fabulous summer school, Camp Creative, where often over 1000 congregate for a week to do a course of their choice.  People from all over: this year a visitor came all the way from Paris, France.

I try to get there every January and have taken classes in Memoir writing, Photography, Video Production, etc and this year, Japanese Shibori.

Shibori is a process that is traditionally done using Indigo dye to produce stunning predominantly blue fabric.

However, on our 5 day course, we used acid dyes on our silk fabrics.  Called thus because they are applied in an acid solution (vinegar in our case, though acetic acid can also be used).

Only a ¼ teaspoon of dye and 1 teaspoon of vinegar was needed to dye a scarf length piece of silk.  We concentrated on scarves, using different techniques, and I certainly had a bundle of scarves to take home.  I also made some for use on a future sculptural wallhanging that I can visualise in my new natural home.

So many beautiful bright colours, orange, blue, red, chocolate hues, green, and we dyed a base coat and followed up with techniques to resist the second colour, by string or elastic bands, sewing etc.  Such lovely women in the class, led by very able Cathy Moon from Brisbane.

Silk scarvesBits and bobs for wallhanging

As usual the whole week was a fantastic cultural feast.  Concerts including accomplished musicians and singers (many of them either at or previously graduated from Bellingen High School); tango dancers, Bollywood troupe, ukulele, drummers…  And not forgetting the international pianist, David Helfgott, carefully managed by his wife Gillian, who treated us to many of his and now our favourite pieces.  They are both patrons of Camp Creative and Gillian is very much involved all year, when not away with David on international tours.

When it was all over, the performance groups had performed, our silks were put away; all there was to look forward to was Bellingen markets on Saturday morning, which is never disappointing.  So many goodies to choose from.

More information: www.campcreative.com.au

Bellingen markets1Bellingen markets