Friday, October 02, 2009

natural dyeing workshop

I'm sitting in a little cafe in Taos, mind reeling after an incredible, intensive, two-day natural dyeing workshop. The class was taught in the La Lana Wools dye studio by Luisa Gelenter and Maryalice Garrigan. These women are amazing alchemists, and I feel so damn lucky to have had these days soaking up their knowledge and spirit.

The Dye Studio


Simmering pot of snakeweed dye


Spoons and sample cards, hung on the wall


Indigo greens and blues


This workshop focused on local and native dye plants -- chamisa, snakeweed, mullein, indian paintbrush, kota, marigold, peach leaves, walnut -- although we did sneak in a little indigo for overdyeing. For me, as a transplant to the Southwest, learning about these dye plants is part of what gives me a sense of place.

And it was tremendously eye-opening for me to get a sense of what a production dye studio looks like and how resource intensive it really is! So, although this class re-ignited my passion for diving into natural dyeing again, it also made me feel like I should just keep it on a personal hobby level. It's interesting for me to watch how those feelings are shifting.

I can't say enough good things about how much I learned and how much joy I took out of this workshop. But do you know what the best thing was about it? Having two days with such a fantastic and inspiring group of women, from different ages and places, but all drawn together by a love of fiber and color.

5 comments:

sylvchezplum said...

Wow, a natural dying workshop, I'm jealous... the yarns look beautiful !

Renee said...

Wow, wish I could've been there too.
Love the greens and blues hanging on the wall!

Lanora said...

One of my favorite destinations. Sure wish I could've gone this year.

Kathy said...

The yarns look marvelous. Green? What a shock!

Turtle said...

what fun! i have stasrted planning a dye garden for next year, hope to expand on the colors i have been doing!