Learning & Knowing | Exhibition

ReSet: A newly dyed vintage table setting + Windeyer Swatch book

Windeyer Studio


Windeyer Studio is a collective, multi-generational practice in natural dyeing founded in 2018 by Joanna and Isabel Gertler. Ours is an interdisciplinary operation, drawing on chemistry, botany, art and fashion design. Sustainability and public outreach are core themes guiding our agenda as a business and creative practice. This is realized by working primarily with recycled (or ‘up-cycled’) second-hand garments and linens. By doing so, we’re disrupting the increasingly wasteful cycle of clothing production and destruction. In 2019, Windeyer Studio broke ground on our own dye-garden. Home-grown flowers now supplement our foraged and salvaged dye materials, which include both local/native plant species and food waste. We have two major avenues for public outreach: small-group workshops held in our studio, and at local crafts markets, where we educate the general public about the potential for flowers and botanicals to produce colours and patterns on cloth.

ReSet is a multi-fold expression of sustainability, and represents our on-going study into dyeing with cellulose fibres. The piece embodies Windeyer’s core philosophies of ‘up-cycling’ vintage clothing/linens and multi-generational collaboration, while utilising our own home-grown dye materials (The vintage table linens were donated by Isabel’s mother-in-law, and originate in the collection of her mother-in-law.) Here, vintage linens are redirected from landfill and are ‘reborn’ as new and newly localised when dyed with locally home-grown dyestuffs. Whether these pieces can function as regular linens, or have entered the realm of art object is an on-going question; the test is underway.

Our Swatch Book is a record of our learning and exploration. It contains swatches of different dye materials, fabrics, and techniques. The Swatch Book is a key tool for participants in our workshops as it demonstrates some of the effects they can hope to achieve and helps to guide their selection of plants and flowers. The book also contains swatches that showcase how participants might manipulate their projects by shifting pH or utilizing a homemade solution of ferrous sulfate. After each workshop the Swatch Book grows by taking on the new swatches created in demonstration with the participants.