Dyeing in the Woods - Bundle Dyeing Workshop with Outside Institute

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home." - John Muir (via Laura Silverman)  

Came together last Sunday with a wonderful group of artists and art-curious folks at the home base of The Outside Institute, which was founded by Laura Silverman with the simple goal of helping to connect people with the healing and transformative qualities of nature.

In the process, Laura has also provided an opportunity for like minded people to connect with each other as well, for those of us in a more rural community this is an opportunity not taken lightly. 

Last weekends workshop was full of excitement, botanical magic, and delicious food (did I mention she also provides five star "snacks" that make most fine restaurants seem like fast food joints?).

This was honestly one of my biggest workshops, which triggered some initial nervousness that was quickly replaced by the realization that natural dyes and textiles are two of my favorite things in the world to talk about, and now here I am with 12+ people asking for details and specifics??

Dreams coming true. 

It's days like this that remind me why I chose the dirt path over the nicely paved asphalt. Why I gave up corner stores, bodegas, and public transportation for shoveling the snow out of my own driveway and spending my free time skunk-proofing our garden, picking cherry tomatoes, or processing peaches.

It is clear to me the ease that city life provides, the solutions it solves, the loneliness it may help to prevent makes it the most suitable option for many.

It is equally clear to me that I'm much more suited to being elbow deep in dirt and snow than in paperwork or crowds.

It is my hope through leading these workshops that I may show others who share this sensibility how they can work with and infuse these plants we've come back to being in daily interaction with, into the textiles we also interact with daily. 


 One of the favorite pieces from the class, a piece created by cutting up leaves into square shapes before bundling. So! Cool! 

Botanicals, Createchristi johnson