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Homelife Sunday No. 5 - Vegetable Mandala with Artist Julie Forrester

Bring on the colour - Spring is really here and the dandelions are showing their sunny faces. Today we are taking a lead from their colour and beautiful form to make mandalas - circle art meditations.

Your hunting adventure will bring you inside your kitchen cupboards for colourful foodstuffs - you will be looking for root vegetables and tubers that you can cut up to make printing blocks and you will be collecting other colourful foodstuffs that you will make into teas for ink - raw beetroot is powerful for both ink and printing - can you think of any others?

For inks there are many herbal teas as well as black tea and coffee, look to your spice racks for colour - turmeric is fabulous in powder as a herb tea for ink but it is available widely in root form so check your local supermarkets and Asian shops. Try out some raw plants from outside too.
You will also be hunting outside for drawing tools, branches twigs, leaves and flower heads.

You will need paper for testing your inks, patterns and blocks and your sketchbooks for collecting and displaying your ideas together.

Have fun exploring and creating.

Homelife5 Mandala Materials

Gather together ingredients from your kitchen - you may need to go shopping for ingredients with strong colours, use your imagination and follow your nose - I’ve listed mine below.

Dye materials made into strong teas and soaked overnight

  • Tea bags black tea
  • Herbal tea bags with strong colour - turmeric, berry, green
  • Beetroot chopped into tiny pieces Onion skins

Print materials cut into shapes for patterns Halved quarter or cubed

  • Red cabbage halved Blue potato
  • Purple sweet potato Beetroot
  • Turmeric root
  • Pomegranate

You will also need a variety of brushes - go hunting outdoors for sticks and interesting plant materials - I used stalks sticks and dried fennel seed heads from my garden.

Flowers or fruit forms to draw - I used dandelions and pomegranates
Make your tea dyes - pour boiling water on to tea bags, beets and other materials you have collected. Leave to steep overnight.

Paper and sketch books

NOTE Turmeric root and beetroot are powerful dyes - you will get the chance to play with soap and plenty of handwashing afterwards - use care when cutting get adult help!

Download the instructional PDF here

Click on the video below to see a timelapse of the process.

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Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland
T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042

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