Natural Dyed Textiles on the Mendocino Coast

Yoshiko Wada speaks at the opening of the Natural Dye Showcase

Yoshiko Wada speaks at the opening of the Natural Dye Showcase

A recent trip to the Mendocino coast gave me the opportunity to see two great shows featuring natural dyed textiles which included the work of textile artists from all over the county as well as those of a weaver from Oaxaca, Mexico.

The opening of The Natural Dye Showcase at Mendocino Art Center was very well attended…we crowded into the gallery to hear juror Yoshiko I. Wada speak. Yoshiko spoke of her recent work producing videos with natural dyer Michel Garcia.  She also talked about sustainability and the resurgence of popularity of natural dyeing, and how many textile artists have switched over to using  only natural dyes.

Best of show went to Michael Rohde for this tapestry.

Best of show went to Michael Rohde for this tapestry.

The show features work by many prominent artists from all over the county, including Michael Rohde, Catharine Ellis, Sandra Rude, and Barbara Shapiro. Many California artists showed as well (including yours truly…I have three pieces in this show).

Standing near my silk shawl on opening night.

Standing near my silk shawl on opening night.

Beautiful textiles in a variety of techniques.

Beautiful textiles in a variety of techniques. My jacket is hanging in the back corner.

Yoshiko particularly liked this piece of mine and gave me a ribbon!

Honorable Mention went to my silk ikat scarf, "Dream of Guatemala."

Honorable Mention went to my silk ikat scarf, “Dream of Guatemala.”

I won’t show you everything as you should try to get over to see the show if you can. It runs through August 28, 2015.

The next day I visited Pacific Textile Arts in Fort Bragg. They have a show of Oaxacan Textiles woven by Zapotec weavers, including Rodrigo Sosa Bautista, who has been living and teaching in Mendocino recently.

PTA Rodrigo Sosa Bautista show

Show of Zapotec weaving at Pacific Textile Arts.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

"Mujer" (Woman), after Picasso

“Mujer” (Woman), after Picasso

PTA Rodrigo Sosa Bautista Diamantes y Grecas

Traditional Zapotec weaving featuring diamonds and key designs.

I took the opportunity to visit Rodrigo’s class while I was there.  Students were winding their yarn and getting ready to weave Zapotec style.  I was sorry to not be able to stay, but I plan to take a workshop from Rodrigo in the future.  He will be in the area a couple more years before returning to live in Oaxaca.

Zapotec weaving class at Pacific Textile Arts with Rodrigo Sosa Bautista

Zapotec weaving class at Pacific Textile Arts with Rodrigo Sosa Bautista.

My work with textiles takes me to wonderful places and I am so fortunate to meet such amazing people.

Happy trails!


Woven Shibori: Weaving and Dyeing with Natural Dyes

MAFA 2015 Woven shibori fabrics

Fabrics woven and dyed by students at the MAFA 2015 conference

At the MAFA conference in Millersburg, PA I taught a class in woven shibori.  This is a technique that combines weaving with dyeing. This technique was developed by Catharine Ellis and her book, Woven Shibori, is a wonderful resource.                            The first step is to weave special fabrics with extra threads woven in for gathering.  We used all different fibers, silk, cotton, wool, tencel, and bamboo.  We were able to use all these fibers sucessfully with natural dyes, even the cellulose fibers.

MAFA 2015 woven shibori fabric undyed

Undyed fabrics woven especially for this workshop.

The supplemental weft threads are pulled up to gather the fabric.  This can be done with undyed fabric, or it can be dyed first.

Woven shibori pulling threads

Weft threads being pulled up to gather fabric.

MAFA 2015 Debbie woven shibori

Painting dyes on gathered fabric

Dyes are applied in various ways, painted with a brush, simmered in an immersion bath, or dipped in the indigo vat.

MAFA 2015 Betsy woven shibori

The fabrics are opened to reveal the dyed patterns…always a surprise!  We all had a great time.

Some happy dyers and their work

Some happy dyers and their work

Next, I will be sharing my experiments with dyeing using fresh indigo from my garden.  It’s a lot of fun!

♥   Linda

A trip to Black Sheep Gathering

I had a great time at Black Sheep Gathering in my old hometown of Eugene, Oregon.  This is the largest fiber festival on the west coast.  I hadn’t attended in many years and it was great to be back!

BSG 6 2015 vendor hall

Vendor hall and spinning circle

I taught two dyeing workshops outside, in the wonderful warm weather.

BSG 5 2015 Indigo dyeing

Indigo For Blues and Greens workshop at BSG

BSG 2015 Indigo blues and greens class

A great group of new indigo dyers!

BSG 3 2015 Silk painting

Silk Painting and Stamping with Natural Dye Extracts workshop, stamping on cloth.

BSG  2 2015 silk painting

Silks handpainted with natural dyes. They will be rinsed out after curing and the colors will brighten.

My friend Janet Heppler of Nebo Rock Ranch won the Black Sheep Cup for her wonderful fleeces…second year in a row!

Janet Heppler Black Sheep cup

Janet Heppler of Nebo-Rock Ranch and her prize winning fleeces

I’m already planning to be back at Black Sheep again in 2016. Good times!

On another note, after two hours (!) on the phone and internet on Monday, I was able to register for the Maiwa Textile Symposium next September.  I’ll be in Michel Garcia’s organic indigo class…I’m so excited!


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Into the Mystery, fabric detail