SSL Certificate

Rebecca Burgess

June 2013

Botanic Color: Sourcing from Native and Indigenous Plant Life

Course Description
For thousands of years communities across the globe have sourced their textile colors from the hedgerows, wild lands, and 'in between' spaces that exist between cultivated and fallow lands. Natural dyes can be derived from the 'weediest' of sources – come and learn the botanic history of natural dye work, and how to identify dye plants in the landscape. All the species we will work with will be derived from the surrounding natural spaces of our test kitchen. We will learn how to responsibly harvest, process, and create natural dye color from a range of seasonally available plant life, and will create a rich palate of color on locally processed animal, plant, and blended fiber textiles. We will learn about various bonding agents, mordants, and color modifiers that can be sourced from the scrap yards and gardens of our own neighborhoods. You will walk away with a wide array of seasonal natural color samples that you will have the opportunity to compose into your own handmade book of dyes.

Supply List for Participants
Participants with a background in natural dyes can bring up to 4 oz. of pre-mordanted yarns or fabric to the class. All other material will be provided for participants.

Skill Level

All levels are welcome.

Artist's Biography
Rebecca Burgess works as an educator, writer, and natural dye farmer. She is the author of the bestselling book Harvesting Color, and is the executive director of the Fibershed Project. She enjoys knowing the biological roots of where everything comes from, and spends her days searching for equitable solutions for clothing humanity in a way that does no harm.

Artist's Statement
Behind everything we own, use, and consume is a story. Instead of continuously feeling downtrodden by the stories behind my material culture, I decided to change the narrative — beginning with my wardrobe. The Fibershed project is a statement and a practice that has shown me that I can flourish in a wardrobe constructed completely from the resources of my community (soil to skin). Limiting my wardrobe to the bare minimum, and utilizing local fiber, dye, and labor, has been my greatest joy and challenge to date.

Artist's Website

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