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Scarf Stories

The inspiration behind the creation of Jane Williams
Hand Painted and Eco Printed Scarves

Kingfisher

Inspired by a February picnic, sitting shivering on the cliffs and watching this amazing little jewel of a bird. The rivers were freezing over, so it came and gave us a wonderful display whilst gathering food in the coastal rock pools. The thrilling fabulous electric colours made me rush home and create this scarf to say Thank you.

The Kingfisher has become my best seller so I have created a page dedicated to its variations and uses.
I use the finest silk for these scarves, they are so soft and sensuous they are like a kiss of colour to brighten your day. I offer three different sizes to match your differing wardrobe requirements.

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Lost on the Moors

Walking on the Moors is so exhilarating. That feeling of leaving it all behind you as you venture out into the elements and get up close and personal with the world. On one occasion, not knowing my left from right brought a whole new level of unexpected exhilaration as I realised we were lost (again!).

Every cloud has a silver lining and I was lucky enough to witness this fabulous sunset over the wind-bent trees on the moor, just before I found myself and averted an embarrassing rescue mission. This scarf is a work of art in itself. I encapsulate the feeling of distance and perspective using watercolour techniques and playing with light. I use pinks and blues and other earth tones to paint each scarf as a unique one-off. If you would like me to paint one in different colours for you, please message me.

Riverside Walk

I am proud to have built up a great working relationship with my local National Trust. They have commissioned me to create some fabulous scarves to represent some of their areas and to support the vital role they have to play in shaping our Great Outdoors.


Riverside walk is inspired by a walk down by the river at the bottom of the valley which leads out to the beach and an old lime kiln. The trees appear to grow out of the river as the water rushes through the ice age rocks and boulders on its way to the sea. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair and the sounds of the water crashing by and have tried to convey the coursing energy you feel, when in tune with nature.


• Contact www.nationaltrust.org.uk
to join and get involved

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River Flow -
Pink Twilight

I love the drama, the heightened senses of being present in nature, especially when it is getting dusky and then dark and the world becomes a shadow. The night shift takes over and muffled sounds make your hair tingle. The rivers flow fast, swiftly and turbulently, rolling and turning as they race towards tomorrows daylight.

River Flow - Twilight

Twilight is all about the moon sparkling onto the racing current. As the river courses over the rocks, it is made radiant by the moon. Silvers and dark greys with a hint of the faded sunset make this a beautiful scarf that will look fabulous with blacks and greys and whites. Again, I use the Haboatai heavier silk to represent the depth of the water. They are both beautiful and my favourite scarves to paint, I pin that silk to the frames, get my paintbrush out and who knows  what can happen!!

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River Flow - Nightfall

I have created 3 scarves in this range. Nightfall captures the darkening river flow, with dark blues and greens and blacks, like it’s flowing under trees arching over the river. The fabulous colours I have blended further intermingle as they chase over the silk and dance together. Gorgeous Habotai silk is used for these scarves, more tactile and heavy, like the water.

Dappled Water

My theme of water and rivers is explored more in this scarf. As an artist I am playing with creating light in my work, (I go through phases, next year it might be deserts!!). As I walk along by the water, I am fascinated by the twinkling of the sun on the water and how it bleaches out the colours. I know that white is really useful to incorporate into designs as it offers so much opportunity to harmonise with more outfits and we like value for money here!!.

As a lover of sequins and all things shiny, I had to represent that effect onto my fabulous silk that is so fine, it flows like water itself. Iridescent, translucent and light-reflecting, this scarf is beautiful. Blues, greens, golds and sunlight all merge through the silk to ensure it is a stunning, versatile scarf that you can wear again and again.

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Roses

I recently exhibited my Silk Art at the Royal Horticultural Societies, Open Art Exhibition. I attended their Rose Event, where I demonstrated some of my creative processes, showing how I blend and apply the silk dyes. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the intense perfume of delicious roses filled the air. The roses were exquisite and had to be captured in all their glory. Using resist and watercolour techniques on sensational silk, these scarves are the epitome of beauty and elegance, just like the roses that inspired them. This is a delicate and pretty less is more scarf, showcasing the beauty of the silk as well as my skills as a silk artist. A total luxury item that you can enjoy at an affordable price.

Blackberry Leaves
& Ferns

These gorgeous brightly coloured scarves are a great example of the foraging aspect of the process of eco-printing. The whole process can only take place after the leaves have been collected. In order to create all year round, it is important to collect fallen leaves and dry them out carefully. For these scarves I rehydrate the leaves in tannic acid for a day before I roll them up into the scarf and steam it. The sap from the blackberry leaves can give the lovely yellow dot of colour which is a great design feature and the feathery ferns add a real hint of countryside prettiness.

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Eco Inspiration
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Eucalyptus & Rust

Lots of Eco printing is done in Australia as Eucalyptus are the best leaves to use. They will eco print without using a mordant first. Although I would love to go to Australia, I actually just nip down the road to our local pub which has a great big tree in the garden. James, the landlord very generously lets me takes a few snips and a few sips!

Brazilwood &
Sumac Leaves

This is such a bright and cheerful scarf, I use Brazilwood to dye the scarf first then I lay the sumac leaves on the silk. I use what is called an “iron blanket” in eco print world which sounds very medieval and daunting. In fact, it is a strip of cotton that has been soaked in rust water that is placed over the silk and leaves before being rolled into a bundle and bound tightly with string. The ferrous oxide reacts with the Brazilwood and deepens, or “saddens” the colouring around the leaves, leaving a vibrant relief of the sumac leaf. It takes a lot of saddening to make such a happy and colourful scarf.


P.S. I only use responsibly sourced Brazilwood.

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Brazilwood
With Blackberry
& Sumac Leaves

There are many parts of the technique of eco printing. It is all about using the right ingredients with the right technical knowledge, very different from my hand painting. This sensational scarf has all of them thrown at it to create a fab scarf with browns and blacks and aubergine colours. When I roll the scarf into a bundle, I don’t use a barrier sheet which means that the print of the leaf can repeat through the layers of the silk, giving a more abstract design called “ghosting”. Once I have steamed it for two hours, I then “modify” it, which means I dip it in rust water and make it change colour to richer, more earthy shades. It’s a striking scarf that sings of nature and it’s origins.

Maple & Ferns

Eco-printed is a part of the slow fashion movement for a reason. These scarves take five days to create so they are a challenge for someone as impetuous as I am. I have tried shortcuts but they don’t work. This is a really beautiful scarf and a fantastic example of eco-printing. I use a combination of tannic acid and ferrous oxide which create a wonderful 3d effect around the leaves and really highlight detail. The creams and browns and greens are all naturally created as the process progresses. I use Habotai silk for these as the heavier weight really captures the print. It makes me smile because who knew that as I sat gazing out of the window in my Chemistry classes, I would be using it to create wonderful pieces of artwork.

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Lac & Onion Skin

This is the only small eco-printed scarf I do in a small size because I bundle dye it instead of steaming it. I dye the scarf first of all with Lac which is a dye made from a secretion that a Lac insect makes in trees. The wood is harvested as Stick Lac and ground down and filtered leaving behind the dye Lac and the resin Shellac which you use on your nails! I then lay the onion skins onto the dyed scarf and roll it up into a tight bundle which I wrap up with string.

This then gets put into an old cooking pot full of lac dye and simmered on the stove for two hours. My son Jack is often disappointed to find I’m cooking scarves instead of a nice stew. This scarf is lovely pinks and bright golds eco-printed onto gossamer-like Ponge silk.

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