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Roots, Wood, Bugs and Berries: Natural Dyes


Roots, Wood, Bugs and Berries: Natural Dyes

Presented by Deb McClintock Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10 am Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Admission: Free for current members of the TAC; $5 for students and members of FAMSF; $10 General Admission. Cash or checks only.

Natural dyestuffs fall mainly into the following broad categories: Leaves and stems, twigs and tree prunings, flower heads, barks, roots, insect dyes, outer skins , hulls and husks, heartwoods and wood-shaving, berries and seeds and lichens.

Deb McClintock will talk about how we get those colors to “bite” with mordants. We’ll consider how you use different “assists” to push the colors different directions such as vinegar, iron and even the impact the type of water used, rainwater versus well water, has on your colors. We’ll look back in time at what was used historically and talk about dye safety today. There will be some examples of the colors produced by cactus tuna, cochineal and Texas ball moss, plus more. We will compare dye methods to the other side of the world by Lao dyers. We will wander thru indigo possibilities. We will talk about the possibilities that exist in your valley. She won’t make a natural dye expert of you in one talk but you will start looking at your garden plants in a new light.

Deb incorporate natural dyes into her work using the dye materials available to her in her valley. What color will your valley provide?

Deb McClintock helps people rediscover the skill of textile weaving, appreciate the textiles in our surrounding museums and understand the link between our present and our past in the world of textile production. She is an independent scholar; her current specialty focus is the study of Lao weaving pattern storage technology and how this technique may be applied to her textiles. She is currently expanding her study to Northwest Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma in light of their geographic relationship to Laos.

She does private commissions and gallery sales. Her work is in private collections from California to Delaware. Color and pattern flow create her challenge within the wall rugs she creates. She connects beginners to the regional and national networks that exist to help weavers continue their education. She assisted the Greenbank Mill Historic District of Wilmington, Delaware in their textile interpretive program. She assisted the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma develop a weaving program on their historic looms. As a volunteer, she led a study group documenting the Marguerite P. Davison textile collection at Winterthur Museum. She taught docents at the Textile Museum in Washington DC.

Image credits: 1) Deb McClintock with Texas Hill Country colors, Agarita, Parmotrema Austrosinense lichen, Acorns, Madder Root. Photo courtesy of Deb McClintock. 2) Deb McClintock with Parmotrema Austrosinense lichen and acorn on silks and wool. Photo courtesy of Deb McClintock.


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