Plants Are Magic - the magazine

Plants Are Magic is a new magazine that I am starting and the first issue will be out in March 2017 - in print (yay!) and also offered as digital download.

It's a magazine for makers, dreamers and plant lovers.

In the image below you'll see some for the inspiration for the magazine... It's a selection of my favourite plants, fruit, seeds, herbs, essential oils and other 'things' from around my home.

You'll see that plant dyeing (see the alder cone painted fabric?) is only one small part of the story. Plants are a big part of my life in many ways. I'm sure this is the same for you too...

What will the magazine be about?

There will be two editions per year ~ spring/summer and autumn/winter.

Each edition of the magazine will have a selection of conversations with creatives and plant lovers that come from different perspectives, and explore their relationships with plants (and also each other). Plants Are Magic is a series of dialogues and offerings to promote self-reflection and help nurture a deeper connection with plants.

There will be interviews with plant lovers, gardeners, florists, herbalists, dyers, artists and makers. We will explore the human relationship with plants on different levels.

Each issue of the magazine will have several step-by-step tutorials for making a range of different plant crafts/recipes/home remedies written by specialists in these areas.

As editor, the narrative of the magazine will of course come from my perspective - that of a natural dyer, maker and pont lover. I am literally creating my dream magazine and of course I hope that it will bring you joy too.

Some background to my idea...

For some time, I've realised that my love of plant dyeing doesn't exist in isolation. It's not simply a craft that I enjoy, but is related to so many other passions. In truth, it has taken me a few years to understand all of these connections in my mind and heart.

I've noticed that many people who start botanical dyeing come to it from different, yet related backgrounds - herbalists, aromatherapists, gardeners, plant lovers, florists and artists, to name just a few. Everyone comes to it with their own unique perspective.

I find these different angles so thought provoking for my own textile practice and also from a personal point of view - as a woman, a mother and someone who is trying to reconnect with nature in this busy, modern world.

Looking at things from a wider perspective, I believe that humans - and all animals - have an instinctive connection with plants. We are attracted to plants as we know they are beneficial to us in so many ways.

The first edition

Each edition of the magazine will be an exploration of ideas under the umbrella of a particular theme.

The first issue - out in March - will have the theme of "well-being". It will cover the following, plus more...

  • How house plants and flowers have actual therapeutic effects on us, which ties in beautifully with interviews with plant collectors and flower lovers.
  • The cultural and historical use of plants as healing and protective dyes, with suggestions for adapting our dyeing practices to better harness and infuse the therapeutic properties of plants into cloth. Plus a tutorial for dyeing a healing scarf.
  • This exploration of healing dyes has beautiful parallels with an interview with a herbal medicine maker. We both use plants for their healing properties - just in different ways.
  • Inspiring quotes and poems.
  • Delicious plant-based recipes, a tutorial for a cooling body scrub... and more.

Of course the magazine won't cover every possible angle as that would be impossible. We could spend our entire lives exploring "plants + well-being" and never finish, but this will be an offering of different points of view with hopefully some interesting dialogues and ideas.

Why print?

In this digital age, I feel like it's more important than ever to celebrate the printed word (and image). Of course there are millions of free blog posts across the Internet, but this information is forgotten so easily.  In contrast, magazines are more permanent. I don't know about you, but I I treasure my favourite magazines for a long time and love to refer back to them.

To me, a magazine feels like a music album where each song has been carefully chosen; the order is important and there is a narrative running throughout. If I just did a few blog posts here and there it would feel more like when we download songs and listen to them on shuffle. I'm more interested in the relationships between the different pieces and how they come together as a whole. So each magazine edition will be a new exploration with a new narrative.

The magazine will be crafted, written, edited and independently published with love. It will be printed in small batches at my favourite printers in the UK and I'll post them out myself. It's something to hold onto and cherish. The content won't go out of date as it will be more like a book, and there will be no adverts or salesy-type stuff. But there will still be a digital option as I know that some people just prefer the convenience of this.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear if this is the kind of magazine you'd like to read. I'd really appreciate your honest feedback.

I've started a new Instagram feed for the magazine, so please do follow along with the journey over there.

You are welcome to sign up to my mailing list. I'll send out a couple of emails between now and the release date in March with news on how the project is coming along. Sign up if you'd like to follow along :-)