Students in this class will learn to take natural materials, such as wood chips, plant stalks, flowers or leaves, and extract color from them in the form of pure, powdered pigments. Such pigments can be used in a myriad of ways, and form the bases for a variety of inks, paints, and dyes that have been used across history and even in modern times (true sepia tone is from walnuts, for example).
Textile artists, printers, painters, or papermakers wishing to expand into colorations will all find this to be a useful and illuminating process. You will learn to see the world differently as you discover how much of what is growing outside your door contains useful, usable color just waiting to be let out!
We expect to use a combination of plant matter that we gather or some other raw materials that we will provide so that by the end of the day, students will go home with at least three different pigments and instructions on how to repeat the extraction process on their own.
A separate class on the following day will go on to provide an exploration of techniques for making specific use of these pigments, including for making inks or dyes.
This class is a prerequisite for the class Using Natural Pigments to Make Dyes, Paints, or Inks.
Materials: (what student should bring): notebook, garden gloves and clippers, sunscreen (we will spend some of the morning out of doors), water bottle. Several small containers with lids (such as clean plastic prescription bottles or glass spice bottles) will be useful for taking pigments home. All other materials are included in the price of the workshop.
Skill Level: Universal -- all skill levels welcome.
Ages: Ages 14+ Welcome.
Bring a bag lunch. We have a refrigerator for people to store their lunches and drinks!
Instructor Bio: Amy Weber began her color studies in the late 1980’s when she began to dye her own yarns for tapestry weaving in order to get more subtle shades. That journey took her from the commercial world of dyes to the natural world and she now works with colors that nature is offering wherever she happens to be. The desire to paint with natural materials, not just dye with them, led to exploring different ways to get color into usable forms and ultimately to realize that creating pigments would provide the longest shelf life and most versatile forms of color.