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botanical dye workshops & events

There's a wide variety of ways to discover the color hidden in so many plants! I've designed my workshops to teach skills in various techniques that you can do at home, using plants in your environment.

Registration is now open for
Upcycling Clothing & Textiles


Future upcoming workshops and events are previewed below. Details, pictures, and registration for workshops will be posted 4-6 weeks prior to each date. Be first to hear about it by joining my email list! 

Upcycling Clothing & Textiles

Saturday, June 15 from 10-2, $100, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

Refresh your wardrobe with flower power! Add color and images to your clothing or textiles with flower dyes, and learn techniques you can do at home! A light farm fresh lunch is included.

Details and sign-up below.

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Workshop details & sign up

Upcoming 2024 workshops and events
Sign-up available 4-6 weeks before each event

Upcycling clothing & textiles NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

Saturday, June 15 from 10-2, $100, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

Refresh your wardrobe with flower power! Breathe new life into a garment or textile by adding color and images with flowers from Bluebird Dye Gardens. The textile industry is one of the biggest global polluters, but with botanical dyes you can “upcycle” and get a new look without harming the environment! Bring an item made from natural fibers to dye in this fun and colorful workshop. Upon registration you’ll receive directions to “scour” (super wash) your item ahead of time.

Forage & Eco-print

Saturday, August 10 from 10-2, $100, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

In conjunction with Mancos School of the West, this workshop takes place at Bluebird Dye Gardens outside of Mancos. You’ll learn about plants you can use in natural dyeing, and forage for plants that grow in our farm’s native woods to use in your eco-print piece. Back at the garden shed, participants will arrange their plants on an organic cotton kitchen towel, and use an iron blanket and steam to transfer and enhance plant images. Take home your kitchen towel and the knowledge to do your own foraging and eco-printing! All materials are provided. Registration for this workshop will be through the Mancos School of the West website this summer.

Flower Fairies

Saturday August 17, 31, and September 7, 8-10 am, barter

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

Do you use botanical dyes?

Do you live near Mancos?

Do you need a source for fresh dye flowers?

If you answered yes to all three questions, read on!

This year I’m planting more dye plants than I’ll be able to harvest myself. Rather than hire help, I’m inviting local dyers to come to Bluebird Dye Gardens on three Saturdays this summer to help me pick flowers, and you’ll take home ten percent of what you harvest. (For reference, I can usually harvest about two pounds, or 32 ounces, of flowers in an hour, which would be 3.2 ounces for you – enough to dye a 4oz skein or four ounces of fabric). There’s no cost to be a Flower Fairy. I can accept up to ten members. Please email me at bluebirddyegardens@gmail.com if you’re interested.

 

As a bonus for the Flower Fairies, read on!

 

Fresh leaf indigo “apprentice”

Saturday, September 14 from 9-11 am

This workshop is a bonus for the Flower Fairies – and for me! Fresh leaf indigo-dyed vintage hankies were popular at last year’s holiday markets and I hope to offer them again. For this technique, I’ll teach you how to use fresh indigo leaves to dye shades of classic indigo blue on vintage cotton and linen hankies. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a pair of hankies to take home, and I’ll hopefully have a pile for market. And we’ll all have tired arms!

Build & fill flower press

Saturday, September 21 from 10-noon, $75, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

One of the most fun and satisfying techniques in botanical dyeing is making flower and leaf prints. Imagine having your own book full of dried and pressed dye flowers, ready to make beauty on fabric, paper, leather, and more! We’ll take advantage of the high point in the growing season, when just about everything is rich with pigment, and harvest fresh flowers from the dye garden. First we’ll make a sampler, so you have a record of the images that the flowers in your book can make. Then we’ll head out to the garden to harvest, and bring the bounty of color back to the garden shed where you’ll load up your book! You’ll also get printed information to help you dye with your pressed plants at home. All materials are provided.

 

Dyeing with Food Waste

Saturday, September 28 from 1-3 pm, $60, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

Color-producing plants can be found in many places – even your kitchen! Join me to learn techniques and tips to dye natural fibers with food scraps. Turn avocado pits, pomegranate peels, onion skins and more into beautiful lasting color on fabric in this fun and surprising workshop. You’ll create your own design on an organic kitchen towel to take home, while discovering a new way to recycle! All materials are provided.

Felting workshop

Saturday, October (date TBD) from 1-3 pm, $75, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

Ever put a wool sweater in the washing machine by mistake? What comes out is “felted” – meaning the wool fibers have become densely bound together and will not easily separate.  But when you felt intentionally, you can make many durable items like bags, slippers, hats, clothes, and more! Join me and my farmer daughter Dakota to learn the practical art of felting, working with wool roving from her Navajo Churro sheep (we’ll visit the sheep!). Dive in with Dakota to learn a wet felting technique while making an item of your own. We’ll also explore techniques for using plants to dye wool, adding color to your creations. All materials are provided.

 

Painting with mordant

Saturday, October 26 from 1-3 pm, $60, max 8 people

Location TBD

“Mordant” refers to both a process to prepare natural fibers to accept pigment, and to a substance that is applied to fibers for the pigment to attach to. Typically, mordant paint is used with an immersion dye bath. But in this workshop, you’ll make a thickened mordant paste to apply to specific areas of your textile with a brush, stamp, or stencil. Then comes the botanical dye bath! Watch your design appear as the mordant grabs onto the dye, creating lasting color on a textile to take home. All materials are provided.

 

Mixed technique dyeing

Saturday, November 9 from 10-2 pm, $100, max 8 people

At Bluebird Dye Gardens

There are many ways to apply color to fibers with botanical dyes. In this workshop, you’ll get to play with several techniques – bundle dye, Shibori, dye bath, dye blankets, resist, paint – and create your one-of-a-kind organic cotton bandana. This is my favorite way to work with dye plants because it gives me a big toolbox to achieve multiple effects, and can result in a richly layered image. All materials are provided.

 

Needle felt an ornament

Saturday, November 23 from 1-3 pm, $45, max 10 people

Location TBD

Holidays and crafting go together like wool and felting! You’ll learn the fun and relaxing technique of needle felting while making an ornament from Navajo Churro wool roving that’s been dyed with flowers from my garden. Participants will also receive instructions and materials to make needle felted projects at home. All materials are provided.

A look back at previous workshops

Painting with Flowers

Literally! For this workshop at Durango Sustainable Goods, folks learned how to make concentrated dyes from flowers, mix it with mordant paste, and paint lasting images on fabric.  

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Dyeing Easter Eggs

I gave this free class at the Dolores Public Library a few days before Easter. Super fun, super easy!

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Solar Dye Baths and Felting

The Animas Grange hosted a wool festival in May for local artisans to show and sell their wares. I gave a hands-on felting demo with solar-dyed wool roving.

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Shibori Tea Towels

Durango Sustainable Goods hosted my Shibori workshop in July, and everyone created a beautifully patterned tea towel to take home.

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Block Printing with Botanical Inks

Katie of Mesa Verde Lavender led this workshop at Bluebird Dye Gardens, where folks gathered flowers, drew them and cut rubber stamps, then applied botanical inks made from my flowers for a take-home set of cards.

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Foraging and Eco-printing

 For this workshop we all hiked around my farm foraging for native dye plants. Nadene of Idyllwilde led the eco-printing portion, using iron blankets for a dramatic effect with some tannin-rich plants.

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Stencil printing & botanical inks

Nadene of Idyllwilde led folks through the process of making stencils and botanical inks with flowers from the dye garden. Each person made two unique stenciled cloth napkins to take home.

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