Copyright Information

2006-2015. Copyright of photos, art and content is retained solely by the author of this blog. Please email for re-use permission.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My project Propsal for AIR at Hubbell Trading Post

Here's the proposal that I submitted when I applied for the artist in residence at Hubbell Trading Post:

"The relationship between plants and man stem back to the beginning of the human race. Man's dependency on plants have been for food, fuel, clothing, ritual, medicine, dye, shelter, cosmetics and more. Plants, to an extent also have influence on how a society and culture develops and perpetuates. At Hubbell Trading Post, I plan to continue my personal study in this area and to increase my understanding of the role that native plants play in a historical context and current day practices within a culture. In the area of the park, one can find native plants such as rabbitbrush, sagebrush, fourwing salt bush, broom snakeweed, scarlet globemallow, Rocky Mountain bee plant, pinon, junipers, willows and cottonwoods. All of these plants play significant roles in the lives of the Navajo in so many ways.
I would like to be able to share what I learn with the public and offer interpretive media by way of producing art in a contemporary style."

Although I do not know what the piece will end up looking like that I will make to fulfill my proposal, I have a general idea of how I'd like it to be.


These hand made 'charts' are a way way to educate and demonstrate how different plants can yield color to fibers-be they animal or plant fibers. It's hard to imagine the time that went into making this kind of a 'chart' as one has to collect the plants at the right time of the year, press them and then have wool that has been dyed with the plant matter and create this little weaving to go with it. Should you ever run into one of these, I hope you will have a greater sense of appreciation for what it is and what went into making it.

These are some of the items I dyed last year (or eco-printed if you want to call it that) with various plant matter. The red in the silk shirt is imparted from the virginia creeper leaves when they turn red in the fall. Fall is the best time to collect a lot of these plants as it is when the leaves have a lot of color and tannin in them. Other plants are best suited at other times of the year. For one to be successful at dyeing with plants, you have to know your plants, what time of year to collect them, how to process it and what mordants create which color shifts and also fix the pigment to the fiber.