We were a little late starting the project, so we are now continuing with research to complete our documentation of woad growing in Lincolnshire.

I have contacted various agencies/organisations in the county including: Lincolnshire Archives, Lincolnshire Family History Society, Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology to cross reference research information.

Artists research quietly, don’t worry we’re still here!


Many thanks to Lincs Free Press and Guardian for coverage of the Blue Mill Project


Another great two days of vintage sewing machines, woad vat dyeing, celtic body painting, printing with woad paint, sketching celtic warriors, felting woad balls and of course the ‘Blue Mill Project’ exhibition.

Many thanks to all regular visitors to the Windmill and new ones, to all artists and friends who travelled many miles to support the project, to the Gentlemen’s Society for the loan of woad items, to Adrian Fordham for contributing 2 paintings to the exhibition and to the very wonderful mill volunteers who made it all possible and so enjoyable – the coffee, the lunch, the cake, the laughter and the unstinting stamina!

And where else would you be encouraged to place a woad paint hand print on the wall to show the way to the exhibition?

woad hands

If you didn’t get a chance to visit the mill this weekend don’t worry, the exhibition will remain up for a while.

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Paintings by Adrian Fordham inspired by celtic coins

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Artist Ernie Butler sketching haunting faces


Woad seed, flower and leaf stamps for fabric printing


The giant woad plant which needed the top lopping off so it would fit inside the Mill!

giant plant


Not a particularly warm start to the day but that didn’t stop the hoards turning up.  Giles Academy arrived to have a mill tour and after they’d placed their sandwich orders they wet felted a woad leaf or flower bud for the giant woad plant, stitched woad dyed fabric bags on vintage sewing machines and visited the Woad exhibition on the third floor.

The cafe was packed as Paul Dickinson and friends delivered hearty ballads including the Woad Song; artist Adrian Fordham arrived to take a look at his work and others in the exhibition and a steady stream of people just kept on coming with many artists and friends among them.

A huge thank you to everyone who came to Moulton Windmill today.  We’re there again tomorrow when Angela will be demonstrating a woad dye vat, artist Ernie Butler will be painting with woad on the second floor and Carol will be wet felting.

How many mill volunteers does it take to move a giant woad plant?

woad plant

felting woad flower buds

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felting woad leaves

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the fulling process of throwing the felt to shrink it

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enjoying the slow, steady rhythm of vintage hand crank sewing machines


wooden block printing on woad dyed fabric

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If you want to see this beautiful old woad dyed smock and other woad artefacts they are just a part of the exhibition on the third floor of Moulton Windmill from Friday 16 October during Woadfest


The Black Hand installation was created by Yrs 5/6 of John Harrox Primary School, Moulton – while we were putting up the exhibition we noticed the spooky shadows on the floor!

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WOAD FEST 16, 17, 18 October

see flyer for more info:        woad fest leaflet A4


Thursday 8 October, 7-9pm ALL WELCOME


Woad day at Giles Academy, Boston

We spent the whole day with a Year 12 Art & Design group passing on information about woad and woad growing and it’s impact on the cultural and industrial heritage of Lincolnshire.

Following a presentation, information was consolidated through a variety of techniques: natural dyeing, hammer printing, mono printing, relief printing and painting all using woad powder and paint.  There was also the opportunity to extend stitching skills, inspired by the embroidery of agricultural workers heritage smocks.

The finished work contributed to a group wall hanging that will be on display at Moulton Windmill during the Woad Fest 16, 17, 18 October before returning to Giles.

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Woad presentation and practical workshop at Algarkirk Church, Thurs 17 September

We delivered a half day informative and practical session to the local community.  They listened to a woad presentation then hammer printed woad leaves onto woad dyed fabric.  Prints were further decorated using woad paint and thread.

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The printed fabric was made into small bags using either a vintage sewing machine or hand stitching – a perfect receptacle for a packet of woad seeds!AL 5

We will be back to deliver a woad vat dye demonstration on Thursday 8 October 7-9pm.

Coastal Boston Heritage Open Day, Sunday 13 September

We delivered a practical skill sharing session and woad dye demonstration at 116 High Street, Boston today.  There were a steady stream of visitors, most hadn’t heard of woad before, but a few gave us valuable information that we will add to our research.

Hand crank sewing machines were available to make bags with woad dyed fabric.  Once completed, there was the opportunity to stamp the bag with ‘Woad’ and pop in a packet of seeds from my allotment.

Our next consultation event will be at Algarkirk Church on Thurs 17 September.

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Woad dye vat demonstration and practical workshop at John Harrox Primary School, Moulton, Monday 7 September

80 Yr 5 and Yr 6 young people from the primary school in Moulton took part in a woad day for their arts week.

They watched a woad dye vat demonstration, listened to some history and facts and used woad paint to create a woad inspired design on fabric.   The fabric was then secured to black felt hands with small antique buttons.

The hands will be exhibited at the Woad Festival 16-18 October at Moulton Windmill before being delivered back to school.

woad hands

Woad Harvest

Some of the woad seeds collected from the plants on my allotment have now been packaged and labelled.  The seeds will be available on Sunday 13 September when we visit Coastal Boston’s Heritage Open Day. We will be demonstrating woad dyeing and you’ll have the opportunity to stitch a woad dyed bag on a beautiful old hand crank sewing machine.

We’d love to find out how much you know about the woad plant and whether you have any memories or stories to tell us about woad growing in South Lincolnshire; so come along and say hello!

See project website here

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There are plenty of seeds so we won’t run out…

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The Blue Mill Project has received Heritage Lottery funding to research Lincolnshire heritage woad growing and share information and oral histories through practical demonstrations and participatory workshops.

Myself and Angela Daymond will be working in partnership with Moulton Windmill to deliver the project.

See us at Coastal Boston heritage open day on Sunday 13 September, we’ll be demonstrating woad dyeing and you can make your own woad seed bag to take home!

BMP heritage open day