Monday, June 7, 2010

June Meeting and Beyond

Dear Group,

There was much interest expressed in doing some dyeing this summer. The ability to be outside, and the availability of plant dyes at this time of year, make this a lot more desirable and fun than at other times. As we are a spinning AND dyeing group the Program committee, along with great volunteers, is trying to make a workshop happen for both acid dyes and natural dyes. Because of space limitations and the amount of work required, each will be offered only one time this summer.

Diana Stewart, Doreen Kelly, Pat Hoffert and Bonnie Morrisey are working on an acid dye day August 29 (max around 10 participants) at Kelkenburg Farms. Fee t cover expenses yet to be determined.

This is an overwhelming amount of work, and for lots of personal reasons, no one in the guild is able to undertake teaching at this time. In order to offer an opportunity, however, I contacted the two dyers who did an OUTSTANDING workshop at the Weavers' Guild two years ago. They are preparing to teach at Rhinebeck in October but have agreed to tailor a workshop for what I thought would be a good introduction and fun. These dyes will make a huge variety of reds, yellows and blues, and therefore, all the colors you can conceive. Cutch gives sophisticated browns and tans (NOT like black walnut). These are also expensive dyes that will challenge us all from beginner to expert.

For additional savings and because it would be more interesting, I proposed that we carpool to their dyeing studio in Alfred (an hour and 45 minutes). If they come here, in addition to their time and expenses that we would have to pay, we would need to rent a space. Since they are offering to teach July 25, we need to seriously discuss this at the June meeting. So, below, the details.

The 1-day workshop would encompass processing and handling techniques on wool yarn and fleece, using cochineal, weld, madder, indigo and cutch, with variations in pre- and post-mordants, some top-dyeing and a full set of sample cards to accompany the handout with directions and other information. We will focus the day on a full spectrum of color and a black as well as any other combinations.

Each participant may bring up to 1/2 pound of pre-washed (pre-skeined if yarn) wool/alpaca/silk fiber for mordanting with alum, preferably pre-soaked.

Class size minimum - 6, maximum -10, dates July 25. The fee would be $100 per person plus a materials fee (covering handout, all samples, dyes, mordants, coffee/tea and am/pm snacks) to be decided, and a per-ounce charge for the additional mordanting. We can cater a lunch as well if you like.

We can start as early as 8:30 in the morning but I think it would be safe to schedule the session from 9 - 5. If neither of those July dates work, we'll have to look at another month - those are the only 2 days that both Debbie and I are free!

I REALLY REALLY need feedback soon, so please be prepared to seriously discuss this at the June meeting.

Donna Ball

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