Local Color Time

There’s something new on my packing list for the Local Color class at Sievers this time:

In addition to printer stuff and cameras and lots of fabric and surface design media, I’m taking a container of Siberian iris blossoms I froze late last month and a bag of frozen rhubarb trimmings (the stringy stuff).

I’ve always begun the class by bundling silk scarves with plant material to dye in plastic bags in the sun during the week. Four days is a little short for solar dyeing (at least Up North). So this year I’m planning for students to do some simmered bundles as well.

There’s lots of willow growing in a bed planted in 2000 just steps from the studio, and more growing wild on the island. And while we’re photographing, I’m sure we’ll find other natural dye materials it’s OK to harvest.

I’m taking the frozen Siberian iris blossoms to try the ice dyeing technique from India Flint’s book EcoColour. I pondered whether it’s cheating for me to take material I gathered at my home for an island local color class, and decided it’s OK. The Siberian iris in the Walter bed at Sievers came from starts that came from my place. As long as I’m stretching rules, the rhubarb fit in just fine.

Carolyn often posts pictures during the class on the Sievers blog, so you might hear about what the Local Color class is doing from her before you hear again from me. And if you’re on Washington Island, you might hear about us at the beach, at the Ridges, at the ferry dock, at the museums, at the restaurants, and definitely at sunset.

If you’re interested in booking me to teach a Local Color class in your location, send me an email and I’ll get back to you when I get home. In the meantime, I hope you’re on island time, too — wherever you are.

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin