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Natural Dyes & the Natural Dye Garden, presented by Surface Design Association
Why use natural dyes? The winter months are a perfect time to plan next year’s natural dye garden. Please join our guests Catharine Ellis, Kim Eichler Messmer, and Kenya Miles and Rosa Chang of the Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative, as we discuss natural dyes and the natural dye garden, from individual practice to that of an urban community-based garden in Baltimore.

Renowned as a researcher and author, Catharine Ellis will talk about the natural dye plants she has chosen to grow in her garden, why she grows them, and how those plant dyes have inspired her most recent body of woven textile explorations.

Kim Eichler-Messmer is a quilt artist who has been hand-dyeing fabric for nearly 20 years. In 2015 she made the decision to switch from using synthetic dyes to natural dyes and began a journey of learning and discovery, guided by experts in the field such as Catharine Ellis and Michel Garcia. Kim will share her work, how the learning process influences her, and discuss how her work has evolved since making the switch to natural dyes.

Rosa Chang and Kenya Miles will explore the past, present, and future of growing natural dyes in an urban landscape, utilizing cooperative economics, and supporting agricultural and sustainable practices through the lens of the Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative and Blue Light Junction. The Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative is an 18-month multi-agency pilot project focused on creating the area’s first natural dye farm and processing site to support urban farming, economic opportunities, community redevelopment, international relations, and the arts in Baltimore City. Beyond the pilot project, Blue Light Junction is an alternative color lab, natural dye garden & educational facility focusing on growing, processing, and preserving the history of natural dyes and their enhancements and use in everyday objects.

Jan 20, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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