When we find something that truly engages our passion, we tend to broaden our community to include other people who share that same passion. This has happened for me repeatedly with natural dyeing. I have mentors from Europe and Asia and have met dyers all over the world who have taught me lessons and shared information about their practices. I have a global community of friends through natural dyeing.
Last fall, I was in Oaxaca, Mexico. While there, I was introduced to a long and deep tradition of dyeing with plants and dye sources that I never had access to. Rocio Mena Gutierrez, a young designer and natural dyer from Mexico, recently sent me some amazing photos of old indigo tanks and logwood trees from the Oaxaca region.
Couleur Garance, the natural dye gardens in Lauris France, will be holding its biennale Symposium on Natural Colours in October, 2017. I attended this event in 2013. It is a remarkable meeting of dyers, scientists, growers, artists, and artisans. It is to be held in the setting of the natural dye gardens of Lauris. These are the gardens that Michel Garcia helped to found.
Couleur Garance has invited artisans and teachers from Mexico to participate this year, bringing a global perspective to the event. Their challenge, now, is to raise funds to help the Mexican presenters travel to France.
In the spirit of international learning and community, I invite you to join me in helping to support this project. They have set up an online fundraiser to help make this possible.
I send this out, as I am about to embark on an adventure of my own. Tomorrow I will travel to Madagascar and the International Festival of Plants, Ecology, and Colours. I don’t know what I will learn, or whom I will meet, but I feel confident that I will return home with a deeper understanding of the world and its use of natural color. Most of all, my world community will again expand, as a result of this experience.