Found Collected Dyed Stitched with Aukje Boonstra
Botanical Dyeing Retreat: 3 Days / 4 Nights
Mon 8th – Friday 12th April 2024 (enrolments close 26 Feb 2024)
**Botanical Dyeing Earlybird registration discount (10%) for art retreat enolments and full-payment before 26 Jan 2024**
This retreat-style three-day workshop, is held at a beautiful private property on the banks of the Ringarooma River in North East Tasmania.
Here, you will explore found and collected objects we all seem to gather at different times. You will discover what you can do with your treasures. Found objects can include shells, bits of driftwood, smooth river stones, pieces of crockery, buttons, rusty iron, copper bits, feathers and much more. Your found and collected objects may have stories you like to share.
Botanical dyeing also fits into this theme, as the plants we dye with, are mostly found, collected and stored. Examples of natural dye materials can be windfall in parks and bush and sea weed on the beaches, grown in our gardens and saved in our kitchens.
Aukje will demonstrate various ways of attaching your found objects onto cloth or clothing, as well as different embroidery stitches.
The end results of this workshop could be embellished piece(s) of cloth or garments, a soft sculpture, a book cover or a wall piece.
During the workshop there will be opportunities to read short stories and poems and to relax in nature. Writing, drawing and meditations are on the cards too, as are conversations about things which matter.
The pace will be gentle, the focus on feeling content and relaxed in a peaceful environment. Of course, food is part of the experience, too — with fabulous chef-prepared meals!
Where is the art retreat?
Tin Dragon Cottages in North East Tasmania in the heart of North East Tasmania is a beautiful natural setting for a cosy creative art workshop. So, you will find your “inner artist” in a relaxed, safe and creative environment. We are taking just 8 participants for this art retreat with Aukje Boonstra (minimum four), so you can experience personal tuition in our purpose-built workshop space.
The art workshop is suitable for anyone 18 years or older. The only thing you need to bring is enthusiasm. Regardless of your artistic ability and experience you will find this workshop both very relaxing and inspiring. In fact the retreat will be as challenging as you want it to be.
Although we are only enroling eight participants, we als0 encourage partners to attend. We won’t charge non-partcipating partners for the cost of the art tuition. Your partner may be interested in mountain-biking or near-by short walks?
What is provided for the art retreat?
- Scheduled airport shuttle to/from Launceston Airport (or Launceston Transit Centre) and accommodation
- Some materials such as wool, silk and plant material for dyeing will be provided for your use. Threads and watercolour paper will be available for purchase from Aukje. However you are encouraged to bring other materials, as outlined below.
- Art tuition for the three-day workshop
- 4 nights accommodation with a variety of cottages to choose from
- Chef-prepared meals from Friday night dinner to Tuesday morning breakfast and morning and afternoon tea/coffee each day. The final night will feature a river-side BBQ (weather permitting). BYO alcohol for the entire trip.
- Day-only registrant’s fee includes lunch and morning/afternooon teas (3 days Tuesday to Thursday). The fee for day registration does not include shuttle transport to and from Launceston, or the first evening (Monday) drinks on the deck. However you may pay to attend this opening event.
Accommodation is on site at Tin Dragon Trail Cottages. Ah Moy cottage can accommodation up to four persons (shared bathroom, 2 couples); Ah Ping cottage can accommodate up to four persons (shared bathroom, 1 couple, 2 singles); three studio spa cottages are for couples, or singles and the Settlers Hut can accommodate up to four persons in single bunk beds (shared bathroom).
What is not provided for the retreat?
- Non-scheduled Launceston shuttles. We are unable to offer more than one shuttle on the day of arrival/departure. However, you are welcome to make your own way to Tin Dragon Cottages. But please let us know your travel plans when you register.
- Guests will need to provide their own lunches or snacks during shuttle transfers on Friday and Tuesday.
- Beverages. In general, guests are responsible for purchasing their own beverages, including any alcoholic drinks.
- Travel insurance
- Guests may book and pay for an optional day-tour with Pepperbush Adventures on the final day of the retreat.
Contact Aukje if you have any questions about what you need to bring to the workshops: email: email@example.com or phone: 0477 400 646
- Wool blanket for dyeing and stitching. Linen, cotton and silk pieces of cloth. Collected fabric scraps. Clothing for cutting up.
- Various threads to stitch with such as stranded and perle embroidery threads, linen treads. Also thicker and textured threads. Any interesting yarn or string. Strong threads for attaching found objects. Hemp string, waxed linen, nettle yarn if you have it. It is okay to make do with what you have.
- Found objects as named on the workshop description or whatever else you come up with.
- Sewing kit, needles in various sizes, pins, scissors etc.
- Note/ sketch book. I use the ones with 110 gsm acid free cartridge paper. A4 or A3 whatever you prefer. Most newsagencies sell them. Good for taking notes and sketching.
- Biro and pencils for writing and sketching. (Watercolours, crayons, colour pencils, acrylic paints all optional. Bring what you like to use.
- Smooth watercolour paper 300 gram. A4 or A5 both fine or a sheet. Whatever is easy to get.
- Short readings or poems to share (optional)
Retreats are as much about creating good memories as great art!
Art retreat itinerary
Please note that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to be changed to accommodate the needs of the group, our Artist or weather conditions.
Monday 8th April: Depart from Launceston to Branxholm by 13:30
Our driver will pick you up either from the Launceston Airport or from your hotel or from the Launceston Transit centre. From there we may take you on the scenic route to Tin Dragon Cottages, via a vineyard or olive farm, over the mountians or via the beach. However, the exact drive will depend on your preferences, group size and other factors.
But we should reach Tin Dragon Cottages in time for you to settle in to your cottage and be ready for a short tour. Your host–Graham–will take you for a short walking tour of our farm, including our renewable energy systems and Chinese tin-mining history.
In the evening we will be serving Tasmanian wines and cheeses on the deck. Here, Aukje Boonstra will provide a full overview of the art retreat workshops. Then during dinner you will have time to get to know Aukje better as well as your other art participants. (**Day-only registrants may book this event – please ask)
Botanical DyeingWorkshop: Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th April 2024
Each tutorial day begins at 9:00 and concludes at 17:00. NOTE: the art program is still being designed – so this is a preliminary guide, only.
During each day of the workshop there will be times when Aukje will read a poem, a quote or short story relating to where you are at and what you are doing. This often leads to sharing and meaningful conversations. So, you are invited to join in by bringing short readings to share, but this optional.
Tuesday Day 1
You will walk in the forest where you may collect foliage and barks to dye with. (If that is not possible Aukje will have all the necessary materials needed for botanical dyeing.) During this walk Aujke will include simple and short meditations and conversations. This is so you become aware of nature, by listening to its sounds and embracing quiet moments.
Wednesday Day 2
Today, the dye pots will be heating up and simmering for most of the day. While that happens, Aukje will show you some of her completed botanical dyeing work. This should help you decide what you would like to work on. Various hand -stitch techniques will be demonstrated throughout the day.
Although Aukje will provide materials to work with, you may prefer to bring your own materials or pieces of clothing which have particular meaning for you.
In the afternoon, you will do some very simple sketching. Aukje will show you how sketching can be transposed into stitching.
Of course, you will need to keep an eye on the dye pots, too! Then, in the afternoon, the pots will be turned off and allowed to cool over night.
Thursday Day 3
Today is the big reveal to see what comes out of the dye pots. You will take your time doing this, looking at all the dyed pieces and making suggestions for what to do next.
After that you will continue to work on your projects. However, if there are any questions or requests for demonstrations of certain techniques, now is the time to ask Aukje.
Friday 12th April Depart Branxholm to Launceston. Today some guests will enjoy the optional tour with our partners, Pepper Bush Adventures Wilderness Tours– Best Waterfalls in Tasmania, leaving at 10:00. (Guests need to book any pay for this tour, separately)
For our other guests it will be a day of relaxing and exploring. Then at 16:00 our driver will return everyone to Launceston by about 17:30. (Departure times will be according to guests’ movements on the day)
My discoveries about the fascinating ancient craft of Botanical Dyeing will never cease to fascinate me. It is the whole process of gathering, processing, the simmering in the dye pots and then revealing of the results, when it has cooled down is very satisfying.
Sitting and stitching can be done any time anywhere. Sitting on the deck on a nice day and hand stitch an art work or garment is one of life’s joys.
Gathering, Upcycling and Celebrating Slow Fashion
Tasmania is a constant inspiration to me.
The botanical dyeing I do comes straight from nature. The gathering of leaves barks berries and flowers is a wonderful pass time.
The details in nature’s marks I find fascinating. I think of shells, scribbles on bark and rock formations.
Motherhood and Making
Ever since I became a mother I got interested in making clothing for my daughter and myself, as I always liked things to be different.
Often the only way to that is to make it yourself. Also making housewares such as curtains, table cloths, cushions, wall pieces, etc just the way I like it.
I also did ceramics for some years. That became too hard as I lived with chronic backpain.
After I had back surgery I started to attend textile art workshops at Moonah Art Centre in 1996.
That was a life changer. I flew with it. Since 2000 I have conducted workshops statewide and later Australia wide.
I keep learning and evolving.
Textile based Mediums
My main mediums are textile based.
Outdated and discarded wool, silk, cotton and linen clothing are worked into unique wearables sewn by hand and machine. Wall hangings made of layered cloths are hand stitched.
I work with inks, pencils charcoal, water colours and acrylics. Mark making and abstract work is my main interest.
Inspired by Sharing Skills
I enjoy sharing techniques, interests and approaches with others and in doing so enriching their lives as well as my own.
What I enjoy of all of the above is being with like minded people.
Learning from others and sharing skills. Being inspired and inspiring others.
Book the Art Retreat & Workshop Holiday
Price: $2650 PP Twin/Share (Includes cost of workshop).
**Earlybird registration discount before Fri 26th Jan 2024**
Solo guests (entire cottage to yourself, 5 cottages): $3195 (per person)
Couple (in a studio spa cottage, 3 cottages): $5500 (per couple)
Twin/share (in Ah Moy or Ah Ping cottages): $2650 (per person)
Budget solo or share (Settlers Hut, 4 bunk beds): $1995 (per person)
Day Registration (three days): $600
**Non-participating partners save $400
**10% discount for registration paid in full on/before Friday 26 jan 2024
Guests who are not taking part in the art workshop may like to view these suggested activities.
How to Book Your Place
When you have your group organised (or if you are coming on your own), you can book and pay for your place/s in the the workshop and your accommodation by clicking on making an enquiry (button below). Please note that a $200 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.
Of course, you are also most welcome to contact us to make a booking for you (firstname.lastname@example.org; 040 750 1137). You can then pay on invoice.
If you are not ready to book, you may like to send us your contact details, so that you can stay informed about available places in the workshop.
Terms and Conditions
Deposit and payment conditions apply as follows:
- To secure your place you need to complete our reservation form. Then upon return email receipt of our invoice, you need to pay a $200 non-refundable deposit.
- 10% discount is applied to registrations paid in full on/before Friday 26 Jan 2024.
- The balance of the booking price is due on or before the 26th Feb 2024.
- Failure to complete the payment on time (26th Feb 2023) means your reservation will be cancelled and your $200 deposit (administration fee) will not be returned or transferred.
- Payment can be made by EFT (only). Details provided on the invoice.
Cancellation by Guest
If you wish to cancel your booking you must notify Tin Dragon Cottages in writing as soon as possible. Once Tin dragon Cottages receives your notice, cancellation will take effect subject to the following:
- Cancellation before 26th Feb 2024 – All payments less the $200 administration fee will be refunded or used as credit (less the administration fee) towards the cost of another retreat;
- Cancellation from 27th Feb to 22nd Mar 2024 – 50% of payments less the $200 administration fee will be refunded; or 50% credit (less the administration fee) towards the cost of another retreat;
- Cancellation after 22nd Mar 2024 – no refund and no credit.
No refund will be paid if you:
- voluntarily leave your retreat after it has commenced, including (without limitation) for reasons of bereavement, injury or illness; or
- are directed to leave by the retreat organisers due to antisocial behaviour.
Cancellation by Tin Dragon Cottages
If you have paid in full on/before 26 Feb 2024 (the due date) and Tin Dragon Cottages must cancel a retreat for any reason after the due date, you may receive a 100% refund, or transfer your booking to a future retreat. Tin Dragon Cottages will not be liable for any other participant expenses such as airline tickets, loss of work, and/or other costs associated with preparing for the retreat. Tin Dragon Cottages reserves the right to modify or adapt the retreat without notice in the interests of participant safety, because of adverse weather, changing government and health requirements, or other reasons.