I have just spent 3 days in the heart of the Danish countryside at a workshop organised and run by Anne, Louise and Daniel of Gulddk. A train journey of 2 hours or so west from Copenhagen will take you to Vejle and a 10 mile drive from there is the Vork Lejrcenter (scout camp) where 15 of us stayed for this English-speaking workshop. It was a wonderful experience. In an open-sided barn we mordanted and dyed 69 100gm hanks of fine lambswool, using gas-fired dye pots and open fires.
Eight dye baths were prepared and used – walnut, madder, cochineal, indigo, broom, dock, oak and fern- and we modified with iron and potash. Some of the results were overdyed. We achieved 69 different shades of colour and divided up the hanks into small skeins so that there was a sample of each for everyone to take home. Each 100gm hank had had a labelled passport on which were recorded the stages of its journey through the dyeing process, so there was a record of how each colour was achieved.
The hard work of soaking, mordanting, gathering and chopping plant material, dyeing, rinsing, washing and winding was made a pleasure by the brilliant skill, care and charm of our hosts. The accommodation was fairly basic- bunk beds- but nearly everyone had their own room and their own bathroom. The food prepared by Daniel and his assistant Trine was plentiful and delicious.
On our third and final day, we were transported to the farm where Anne and Daniel live and where their yarn dyeing and selling enterprise is based. We visited (and bought yarn and dyestuffs in) their beautiful shop, enjoyed another delicious lunch and 15 very happy women were driven back to the station at Vejle or the airport at Billund. I am sure that most of us would have like to have stayed longer. I cannot recommend this workshop highly enough and I would very much like to return some day.