Botanical Expressions

Join wild-crafters and botanical alchemists, Sammy and Gabrielle, as they share the fundamentals of eco-dyeing, natural dyes, and botanical pigments and inks.

Over five days, you’ll create a variety of fabrics and papers, wall hangings, botanical inks, mark makers, and botanical pigments, as well as a handmade book and shawl, ready for you to take home.

They’ll share their wealth of knowledge and experience to teach you various skills, including how to gather, prepare, and use organic materials; natural dyeing using Shibori techniques; and creating your own mark makers, paintbrushes and pens to work with botanical inks. Plus so much more.

This course is for everyone – from absolute beginners to those who are more experienced and advanced.


Course Info

Over the week, you’ll cover
  • Pre-stages of fabric and paper selection and preparation.
  • Mordants, how to prepare and use.
  • How to test, gather and prepare leaf and organic matter.
  • Ethics of wild-harvesting.
  • Eco-printing – bundle boiling and steaming methods.
  • Natural dyeing with Shibori methods.
  • Using various methods to use botanicals to make inks and pigments of local colour.
  • Drying, washing and caring for works.
  • How to save on water and other resources.
  • Material and process safety.
Day One

The Foundations

During the first day, we will cover some of the foundations of working with plant matter, harvesting and preparing organic matter for use. We will explore mordants and how to prepare, make and use them. You will be eco-printing on various cellulose and protein-based fabrics to be boiled.

Day Two

The Reveal

Unbundling the previous day’s samples, reviewing and analysing the results. We will be creating bundles of paper for eco-printing to be made into books.

Day Three

Natural Dyes and Shibori Methods

We will be creating samples of cellulose and protein fibres to create Shibori stitched works alongside creating 3-4 dye pots of natural colour extractions and using modifiers to alter the colours.

Day Four

Project Pieces

During this day, we will start taking all the knowledge we have learned and creating two project pieces, one a large shawl and the other a wall hanging. We will also commence our works with botanical ink and pigment making.

Day Five

The Conclusion

On the final day, we will complete our project pieces and share them with everyone. We will finish our explorations of botanical inks and create our mark makers, paintbrushes and pens to use with the inks. You’ll play with the inks on paper and fabric, including watercolours.

This course is for everyone – from absolute beginners to those who are more experienced and advanced.

To be supplied by participant

Bring a notepad, pen and about 10-15 small – medium-sized jars and a way to transport them home


Any leaf/plant matter or fabrics you are curious about

Supplied by the tutor

Large wool scarf

Large selection of various fabric samples, both cellulose and protein, for eco-printing

Large selection of various fabric samples of cellulose and protein for natural dyes

Various paper types of eco-printing

Fabrics for creating wall hanging

Timber for mounting wall hanging

String and other assorted items for making our own mark makers to use with botanical inks on both fabric and paper.

Assorted yarns to be dyed and used for creating works.


A materials fee of $80 is payable to the tutor on the first day.

An experiential learning experience, this course will leave you feeling more connected and attuned to the natural world around you and inspired to continue your botanical expressions at home.

Upon completing the course, you will take home a booklet with the foundational knowledge to help you continue your exploration.

Throughout, Sammy and Gabrielle outline all the content covered over the week while highlighting some sources for you to investigate and read further, as well as their own discoveries.

Sammy Cicak & Gabe Leonard
Course Tutor

Sammy Cicak & Gabe Leonard

Sammy and Gabe are botanical alchemists and wildcrafters living on the Sunshine Coast. Their work is with the organic nature of textiles, timber and foraged objects. Using methods of binding, dyeing, stitching, weaving and carving, they create re-earthable works that hold a resonance of ecological connection to place.

Sammy and Gabe have taught workshops over a number of years and have trained with well-renowned masters, founders and teachers of eco-printing and natural dyeing.

They offer an informed and experiential style of workshop, which leaves their students feeling more connected and attuned to the natural world around them and inspired to continue their botanical expressions at home.

Sammy | Website and Instagram

Gabe | Website and Instagram

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