From Plant to Pigment - Natural Dye Explorations


Textile Arts Center

This 5 day intensive course delves into the world of beautiful, accessible, and sustainable natural dyes. Students will learn the basics of selecting and preparing fibers, and extracting color from a variety of fresh and dried plants. Special attention will be paid to the selection of mordants for lasting color in textiles and works on paper. After getting familiar with the best practices of natural dyeing, students will explore print and pattern opportunities. Students will also produce handmade inks and lake pigment watercolors. This process of transforming the dye baths into lake pigments stabilizes and preserve the dyes for future projects and uses up every drop of natural color.

INSTRUCTOR: Natalie Stopka

Natalie Stopka is a New York based textile artist focused on processes rooted in the materials and forces of the natural world. She uses diverse techniques drawn from the immense heritage of intercultural craft traditions, refreshing age-old methods such as fabric marbling, mordant patterning, botanical dyeing, and pigment extraction. Each artwork is rooted in a particular space and time created by the intersection of the techniques involved and enlivened by creative accident, building a continually evolving vocabulary of textures and patterns. Natalie is a Graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Class will meet with the instructor Monday through Friday from 10:30am-1:30pm. This course encourages students to get creative and develop their artwork independently, with extended open studio hours after each class session. The focus may be building a comprehensive swatch library, tackling a big project, or pure experimentation. On Friday evening from 7-9pm students are invited to share their work with the public during a show and tell session. 

Materials for experimentation during class are included in the class fee. You’ll be provided with a material list from the instructor with material suggestions for personal exploration and project creation (These may include fabric, yarn, paper, vegetable tanned leather, or other natural materials.)

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