Eco-Dyeing and Printing

Happy to be taking Nicola Brown’s online course in Eco-Dyeing, and looking forward to setting up a little outdoor dye kitchen again!  Here are some images from my prior efforts to learn this magical process…



My little outdoor dye kitchen from last time.  This time I won’t be using the crockpots, but instead will be using some vintage aluminum pots, the old aluminum turkey roaster seen in this image, and one fabulously large 80 quart aluminum stock pot on my two-burner electric stovetop.  And I’ll use a lower and very sturdy table, to make it easier to access the largest pot.

The brass and copper vessels, along with the old tin cookie cutters (seen on the left of the table)  can be used to influence the hues obtained from botanical elements.  I’ve been gathering leaves, onion skins, acorns, elderberries, chestnuts over the past weeks.  Next, I’ll fabricate some felt shawls from un-dyed white merino wool and silk fibers to add to the stash of various silk scarves and silk yardage in my stash; and soak some old tin cans and iron nails to create “iron water.”    I would love to learn this process well enough to confidently share it with others, because the experience of gathering botanical elements and working outdoors, of bundling the yardage and the elements together and steaming/processing them, then letting things cool and set — and then the dramatic reveal of  unbundling — it’s all so grounding and satisfying.  And when it’s done you have something unique, wondrous and perhaps even purposeful, and you’ve learned some things to apply to the next exploration!

Published in: on October 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Art As Antidote


This may look like a fiber pizza, but it is the layout in-progress for a felted card series.  My working title for the series is “The Antidote,” because the hours I spent in the studio filling my work tables ( with approximately eighteen inches by eight-and-a-half-feet of fiber,  around five ounces) felt like the antidote to the anxiety of this dismal election season.

The base and much of the embellishment are from one of The Yarn Wench’s (a.k.a. Lynn Wigell) Wild Card Bling Batts.  I usually fabricate my own batts on my beloved Louet drum carder, or I layer wool and other fibers for my work; but Lynn’s creations are so jam-packed with curls and artistically-blended tones that it’s pure pleasure to open up one of her batts as inspiration for a studio day or for spinning some yarn.  To her batt I added silk fabrics and more curly locks and additional merino wool wisps.

Sometimes in crafting felted cards I work on developing individual small compositions, each one to become a separate card; other times I just let myself experiment with layering different colors and fibers to see how they will interact in the process — and then I look for areas that can be cut into card-size shapes.

This was a fun experiment: free form and wild and wooly.  In fact, when completed, this layout offered about fifty areas that were interesting small compositions to cut into cards, and the leftover pieces will provide “pre-felt” yardage with shimmer and texture for future work.

If you would like to learn how to craft felted card images, please let me know via private message or email (, providing your email address;  and I will add you to my list and contact you with info about winter 2017 workshops.

Here’s an image from an earlier series, crafted from layers of merino and silk fiber, with some silk fabric embellishment:IMG_4540

Published in: on October 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment