I came back from a textile workshop in Spain so inspired that I have barely stopped to take a breath. I added no adjectives in front of “workshop” because I find it difficult to find one that conveys the depth of passion I feel for this workshop and this experience.
The workshop was called “Textiles con Alma” (Textiles with Soul) and was held for ten days in the Pyrenees Mountains, in a small village named Azanza. Although Azanza was only 20 minutes by car from Pamplona, we thirteen participants and the handful of support persons felt we were in another world. Azanza is a small collection of old Basque homes and we stayed in one that had been converted to host large groups. It was the perfect location – enough bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate everyone, a large dining room and kitchen and a giant workroom, where much of the magic happened. We were instructed and inspired by Irit Dulman and Revital Avidar, two talented women from Tel Aviv that create unique clothing together. Irit specializes in natural dyes and eco printing and Revital in dress designing. Our task was to dye and print our fabric, then fashion it into an outfit. We worked with both women, learning new techniques and honing our skills, while keeping in mind what we wanted to create for our final project.
There were women (and a few men – husbands who had tagged along) from eleven countries. Many were from Europe and South America. We counted fourteen different languages being spoken amongst us. All classes were taught both in Spanish and English, which was convenient for me, because I speak both. So I heard everything twice! I also was able to help out a woman from Germany who occasionally had difficulty with English. What an experience to work, eat and play with women from so many different places, all with passion for natural dyes and eco printing.
And what an absolutely stunning setting – vistas of rolling hilly mountains, lots of green, so many gorgeous flowers, quaint buildings and even a pony and a dog or two to accompany us on our walks to find plants to use on our fabric.
We ate well, as we had our own chef – Leo Yaben Muzzupappa – who fed us deliciously each day with typical food of the area. We also spent one evening in Pamplona eating in a fabulous restaurant. The food in Spain is outstanding!
As we finished our garments, Irit’s husband and professional photographer, Idan Levy, took us each for a photo shoot. We felt like models!
After an unforgettable time we had to say goodbye to our new friends and the lovely town of Azanza, but thanks to the information age, we are keeping in touch.
Not only did I learn new techniques for dyeing and eco printing, I was inspired to dust off my sewing machine and I bought a serger and have been creating garments with fabric I have designed. My work has taken a new direction!