Behind the Scenes of the Natural Dyeing Collection

All the weavings in the naturally dyed collection were woven with fibers that I hand dyed piece by piece and Harris Tweed from Scotland. They are comprised of all natural fibers such as cotton, silk, velvet and wool, sourced from small woman owned businesses. Harris Tweed is not only very high quality hand made tweed (not machine) it was also founded by women in the 1800s! Quite an endeavor!

The fibers were dyed with their own specific intention (read more about that below) and once the weaving was completed crystal beads from another small local business were added in alignment with the intention. Each woven wall hanging is finished with a custom made hand soldered copper frame for grounding and charging of the energetic properties of the piece.The copper frames add visual interest and also add a living aspect to the weavings as the copper patina over time. Read more below about each individual weaving. 


Naturally Dyed Logwood and Blueberry and Currant Dye  Woven Wall Hanging  with Charoite and Harris Tweed

Logwood Dye: 

Before beginning to dye the fibers that would later become the woven wall hanging titled 'Trust' I cleansed the space and the vessels that would be used for the dye baths. The intention for the entire dye process was to take a leap into the uncomfortable with the trust that it will work out exactly as it should. It meant that some big lessons were on their way, but I had to trust I could handle them and they would be necessary for the growth I needed to get to that dream life. It is brave, unwavering, calm, confidence. Each bundle was hand dipped over the course of an entire day. This process enabled me to control the depth of the shade and create an ombre effect in each bundle. The results of the dye were a beautiful royal purple that was so special I couldn't part with it, so I kept it in a basket with the other naturally dyed beauties.   


 About a year later I finally decided it was time to stop saving the precious naturally dyed fibers. Since it was about a year later I was curious about how the energy would unfold while weaving. Would the energy still be there? Honestly, I didn't

remember what the intention was until afterward when I checked my dye journal and took a peak at the photos of the dye ritual. While I was weaving the word "trust" kept popping up, and not in the way that was encouraging me to trust, but in the way that was reaffirming, almost saying "See, this is what happens when you trust. It feels good right?" Very self assured "I told you so" kind of trust. When I looked back at my dye journal I laughed and knew that the energy didn't have an expiration date, it was still there. I finished off the woven wall hanging in a copper frame and added Charoite beads. Charoite feels very much like the silent power of transformation. It has a gentle but strong way of comforting during those moments of self doubt while encouraging you to push you  toward your highest potential.   


Naturally Dyed Logwood and Indigo Woven Wall Hanging with Harris Tweed and Blue Lace Agate

Indigo Dye: 

The intention sett into the fibers just before dyeing was to permission to rest. In a chaotic world filled with responsibilities and obligations it's 

easy to get caught up in the constant push forward, the need to complete everything on the 'to do' list in record time, knowing that the 'to do' list only keeps growing. Indigo is a unique dye in that it actually needs to rest in order to become a viable dye. All the ingredients are added into the vat and then you need to wait. After just the right reaction has taken place it's ready to dye and WOW

the results are well worth the wait! It is the perfect dye to match with the intention to rest. It's ok to take some time to reset. It's ok. It's your life. Live it well. Through rest we become a better version of ourselves. The indigo is a great example of that. If we tried to rush the process it just wouldn't work. 


 One day, a year later, I decided to dive into my naturally dyed collection of fibers. The entire time I wove I was filled with calm. Completely and totally calm. I thought I would be worried about the pressure of making something gorgeous with such special fibers, but I wasn't. I wasn't even stressed about what was going on around me with a house full of kids and the world falling apart. I had unshakeable serenity. This piece will bring everyone who sees it that same feeling of peace and calm. I added Blue Lace Agate beads because the gentle loving nature of the stone added the perfect positive and calming energy for the piece. 


Naturally Dyed Hand Foraged Black Walnut Woven Wall Hanging with Harris Tweed and Moss Agate

Black Walnut Dye:

The intention behind the Black Walnut Dye was deep connection to ancestral practices and the rhythm of the seasons. Black Walnut is  a very popular

used historical dye and wood stain. The Black Walnut used for this dye bath in particular came from a tree that I visit frequently on my ritual walks.  As I was doing result about historical natural dyes and saw that Black Walnut grows in our region I studied how to identify it, responsibly harvest it and when to harvest. Coincidentally, it was the tail end of the time when I could harvest it... so out on my ritual walk I went hopeful that I might
find one. And I did. It's a tree that before I started dyeing I had over looked countless times. In fact, it is in an area that is somewhat neglected. But no longer. Now I make sure to say thank you and give it attention every time I pass by. The harvesting of the walnuts themselves was a bit of work (I

could have chosen an easier harvesting method, but I didn't because I wanted to preserve some powder for future use), but the whole time I felt very connected with the earth and my ancestors. I laughed so hard at myself, exploring the newness of the dyeing process and being completely amazed at how much color these soapy smelling tree nuts yield. And SO easily. The abundance and the connection, it was rejuvenating. 


While weaving 'Earth' with the black walnut dyed fibers that I harvested, I felt a very deep connection to nature. It felt like a warm summer day even though it was the peak of winter.  

The good fortune and abundance that mother earth provides had woven its essence into the very fibers. I could almost feel the prickle of the long grass tickling my legs as I picked up the black walnuts. I could hear the wind rustling the leaves and the chattering of the red squirrel scuttling across the path into the tree. Once completed I added moss agate because the stone has the feeling of a warm sunny walk, it's centered, nurturing and abundant, content in every facet of its being. 



Naturally Dyed Weld, Coreopsis and Marigold Woven Wall Hanging with Harris Tweed and Citrine 

Weld, Coreopsis and Marigold Dye:

The intention behind the dyeing process was to capture the energy of a sun burst. A sun burst pushes through the clouds, however briefly, it pops up to remind us that it is still there shining, doing what it's meant to do even if it can't be seen. It continues to be itself. It's the sudden push to keep going, keep moving forward even in the face of obstacles. It's the reminder of your own power, purpose and potential. The Marigold and Coreopsis were harvested from the artist's garden, the marigold grown from seeds and the coreopsis transplanted from the family's previous home of many, many years. 

Weaving: While weaving 'Daylight' I felt a jolt, I wove faster and felt like I was truly in tune with what. I was meant to do. I was inspired. Before I started weaving it I was a bit burnt out,

preparing for a big event but the moment I picked these fibers back up I felt restored. I had thought that it would be the last piece I would complete before the show because I was just that tired, but instead I went on with renewed energy and came up with the copper framing idea, and completed 2 more pieces afterward! It vibrant nature is a delight to behold. I added Citrine beads to capture that burst of activity, the action that it inspires. 


Naturally Dyed Madder, Coreopsis and Marigold Woven Wall Hanging with Harris Tweed and Red Jasper



Madder, Marigold and Coreopsis Dye:

The madder dye bath was centered on ancestral practices. Madder root is one of the oldest natural dyes (Indigo is believed to be the oldest). Its ease of use,

availability and color yield makes it a great textile dye and natural paint. This dye bath was not only used to dye these fibers but also used to make lake pigment for paint and the marigold and coreopsis dye bath was used to make paper pulp. No part of the dye went to waste. 

The entire dyeing process was centered on recognizing the roots of our traditions, the roots of where we come from and the roots of who we are. 


'Roots' embodies the beginning, the origin or the primal state. It's created in the energy of grounding into the

ancient and into our own base power. It encourages us to keep ancestral practices alive by remembering and honoring the skills and knowledge they offer. 

The quilt like pattern evokes a feeling of comfort and nostalgia for a time when communities thrived on working together and building each other up. Red Jasper beads are tucked into the folds of the Harris tweed, further promoting the deep connection to the our roots. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published