Participants will learn to identify and sustainably harvest at least five plants that are useful for natural dyeing including but not limited to: birch bark, alder bark and dried cones, buckthorn bark and dried berries, and lichens. The instructor will bring a bountiful supply of materials and pictures into the Fiber Guild studio so students can learn about the characteristics that identify each in the outdoors.
Students will learn to sort and process the raw dye stuff, store them, and how to cook them to make dye vats using these materials (handouts will be provided). Some dye vats will be pre-made for the dyeing section of the class so we don’t have to wait for the dyestuff to cook.
Each participant will get to dye at least one sample skein of yarn (1 oz.) in the dye vats with the option of doing more if dye stuff and time allow. Open to all adult learners and individual children 14 years or older. Family groups are encouraged to attend with children 7 years of age or older.
Required Tools/Materials/Clothing Students Need to Bring:
- wear clothing that can get dirty or wet (the studio has been running hot lately, so dress for a hot summer day under your outdoor clothes!)
- plastic baggies to bring your dye stuff and dyed yarn home (6-10 gallon ziplocks, or similar)
- optional: pocket knife (if you feel comfortable using one)
- optional: sample skeins of your own wool to try in the dye vats
Instructor: Cindy Hale
Instructor Bio: Cindy has 25+ years as a teacher of arts, science and farming with a particular penchant for creating events that increase community engagement. She has been teaching plant ID for over 30 years and wet felting since 2009. She got serious about natural dyeing in 2020 and greatly expanded her repertoire of skills through her 2022 ARAC Artist Access project: “Full Circle Production of Natural Dyed Pre-Felt for Use in Wet-Felted Art”. She is well known in the community as someone who enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills with the community and will be offering monthly workshops related to natural dyeing and felting in 2023 in conjunction with the Duluth Fiber Guild. Cindy and her husband have been farming ecologically since 2005, raising sheep since 2013 and are well connected among other sustainable farmers in the region.