Whidbey Island, WA October 7-8, 2023 Hosted by Cultus Bay Gardens - Exploring Mushroom and Lichen Dyes of the Puget Sound Region
Join me at Cultus Bay Gardens during the height of the mushroom season to learn about the gorgeous range of permanent, colorfast dyes found in the Puget Sound region's forests and foothills. In this two-day workshop, we'll extract and dye a full spectrum of fungal colors while we explore the science and artistic nuance of the craft. This class is open for all skill levels, from complete novices to advanced mushroom hunters and dyers. It will be a fun, educational weekend, making brilliant dyes using wild mushrooms and lichens.
Where: Cultus Bay Gardens, Whidbey Island, WA When: 9-4 October 7th-8th Supply fee: $40 includes foraged fungi, climate-beneficial yarn samples, silk scarf, and booklet (to be paid at class)
We will start Saturday morning by discussing the basics, including the history of mushroom and lichen dyeing, foraging safety, ethics, ecology, identification, fiber selection, mordants, modifiers, and garment care. We'll then move on to dyeing our rainbow of samples! We'll take our time noting the attributes of each chosen dye species, including the features of the mushroom, its unique ecology, how it reacts in the dye pot, and the optimal route to maximizing its dye potential. At the end of day one, you'll have a beautiful regional rainbow of fungal colors and the recipes used to achieve the palette.
Sunday, each participant will bring a selection of their preferred protein fiber for dyeing. Using abundant dye species, we'll observe the subtle and bold differences brought about by fiber selection alone. By observing how the dye takes differently to silk, wool, fleece, felt, and cloth, we will learn collectively about the role fiber selection plays in achieving our personal goals as natural dyers. While our fibers simmer, we'll take a moment to design and dye an airy silk scarf using a demonstrated resist technique.
By the end of this workshop, you'll be able to carry on with your dye experimentation confidently. You'll have experience selecting fiber, testing, and maximizing the dye potential of the most optimal species groups; experience making larger dye vats and utilizing exhaust baths to achieve even more color variation.
You'll take home:
Samples and recipes used in class
A compact guidebook that outlines all the steps for working with fungal dyes
A color guide to the best dye species in the area
An elegant mushroom-dyed silk scarf for flair
Enough mushroom-dyed fiber for a small project
For Sunday, bring multiple one or half-oz bundles of your favorite natural-colored wool or silk fiber: yarn, felt, or fabric (fiber dyed to look natural works as well). Secure fiber if loose, gently wash, and label with your name and the dry weight for reference. We will mordant in class. You can bring as many small bundles of fiber as you'd like. We will aim for a minimum of six oz per person, but you may be able to dye more. Sometimes, the dye vats are seemingly endless. I look forward to meeting you at the magical Cultus Bay Gardens!
*Bring water-tight containers for taking home dye if you'd like to work with what we have left over.*