Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Solar Cookery

We spent the weekend dyeing with Northern plants. Alder, rhubarb root, mountain ash, lupine, hawks weed, willow. And mud. And old horse shoes. I think it was the best class I ever taught. Enthusiastic learners to the person.

Tim and I had collected bark, trees , leaves and flowers from the wild mountain hillsides around here! Ended up finding every single thing needed for a very busy workshop. Nature provided everything including some of the mordants. Dorothy dug into the bog and produced dark and peaty mud. Ksenya begged flowers from the hotel hanging baskets and Mark was sweet enough to sacrifice some of his babies. Sheila, Tim and and Laura raided the pansy buckets at the campground. I actually think there is hardly a garden in Wells not missing a flower or two.

We shared the range of my dyeing and natural printing repertoire. Plus we created a workable and successful solar oven. It ended up cooking our rhubarb root dye better than any stove top.

Hard to imagine this far north but we were lucky enough to have three hot days in a row!!! It had rained hard and was very cold for almost two weeks before the workshop. Panicky me was trying to redesign everything and move it into Island Mountain Arts School buildings.  But those dyeing Gods helped out with perfect weather.

Kathy has kept the small talk Gallery opened for days. People are starting to pour in but are still unsure of the weather. Beautiful work has now arrived and been hung on the walls. Arlee Barr's work was perfect today to show and explain natural dyeing combined with stitchery.The opening date has now changed to the 15th. I think this better be called the mid-season reception!

The best little present showed up in the form of leaves and flowers pounded into my wooden boardwalk! Try it you'll like it!!!

 One thing for sure ...the bugs know it's summer and are eating everyone alive!

I am exhausted!!! But full of Northern inspiration!

The class and I with finished solar oven.
Everyone pitching in with me firing instructions.
Hanging the first dyed samples on the Northern dryer.
Some of the vegetation in the back of the truck waiting for the dye pot .It smelled like a sweet almond perfume.

Tim pitching in with his amazing skills.

1 comment:

arlee said...

Looks like it was/you had/they had a blast :) Perhaps someday i will get up there!