Native Weave

February 7, 2009


I used wool from the Chileno Valley in West Marin.  The foundation is from a corriedale cross fleece- that was completely dyed in native plants, collected within a five mile radius of my home.

img_1382The buttons are from hand-carved arroyo willow, and the braid holding the panels together, is from an ancient samurai braiding pattern.  

Native Weave

February 7, 2009

img_1379Due to a lovely cloud cover and a nice dose of rain, the light was diffused enough to bring out my just completed native kimono.  This piece was photographed at the Windrush farm barn- in the Chileno Valley, where inside lay baby lambs and their mothers.  The weft of this kimono can be attributed to the Windrush farm sheep and their so soft fleeces.  


This mother had just given birth yesterday in the pasture.  One of her newborn twins rests in the background.  She was so peaceful and focused on me as I took this picture of her.



All of the dyes for this piece were dyed in native plants collected within 5 miles of my home.  Toyon berries and leaves are shown here.  The toyon dyed the wool consistently into this rusty orange color.


All the yellows in this piece can be attributed to the fragrant and soft branches of California sagebrush. With some help from Coyote brush.

img_14091And here’s the famous all purpose Coyote brush.  It can dye plant and animal fibers alike, creating a gold and mustard tones of yellow.

img_14101This coffeeberry held the most surprising secret, by dying my wool weft into shades of khaki and sage green.  I was thrilled with this color, as it rounded out the spectrum of oranges and yellows, and played off the beige of the hinsii walnut, creating shades of earth tones, that are not easily expressed in words.  The last plant gift came from hinsii walnut.  I could not photograph the walnut husk unfortunately- because all of my walnuts are soaking currently in a moldy bucket of water- waiting to become dye.  Although it could not be photographed, I would like to thank it in word, for its dark browns, shades of beige, and for its strength and color fastness. 


Winter Dye Day

February 4, 2009



It has been a while, as ecological arts processes have been focused on indoor activities this season- I haven’t been making a whole lot of art outdoors.  However that all changed recently, and first dye day of 2009 took place, on a very cold frosty winter morning.  Thank you Mia, Sky, and the home school crew for your interest and playful participation.  Thank you Sky for these gorgeous pictures.  Fortunately, the cold was met with the almond smelling steam of the Toyon bath, and the sage smell of the Artemesia californica to keep us warm and cozy.  


 We used a shibori pattern making technique with the use of marbles, rubber bands, and tongue depressors.  This piece was carefully made with many many marbles, getting them on the fabric and off the fabric was a community effort.


Our front yard art show, the yellow of California Sagebrush made a lovely striped scarf with a series of tongue depressors used for the pattern.  Diamonds inside of diamonds were created with marbles and rubber bands.  It was a beautiful collection to see all together.