4933 NE 23rd Ave
Portland, OR
(503) 926-3817
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  • March 24, 2018
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Mycopigments Workshop
An Exploration of Pacific Northwest Mushroom and Lichen Dyes

Regional Dye Palette
Every region has its own palette of mushroom and lichen dyes.  This class takes an in-depth look at using local, wild fungi as sustainable, safe dye sources. Starting with 10-12 different species, with the addition of safe mordants and pH modifiers, we will end up with about 20 colors in all.

Wild Harvest
All of the dyes used are ethically harvested, dried, and weighed (using some fresh material if available). Students learn about mushroom safety, identification basics, habitats and ethical harvest. Participants receive a customized color guide to the best regional dye mushrooms and lichens and learn where to go for help with identification.

Working with Fiber
We will be working with wool and silk fiber. Yarn for class is pre-mordanted to allow ample time to focus on dyes, however we will discuss the steps for preparing the fibers for the dye bath. This includes scouring, mordanting, and techniques to avoid felting wool.

Shibori demonstration
Participants will be guided through the steps to create an intricate arashi shibori inspired design. Each participant receives a blank scarf for practice.

Students will take home a detailed recipe card showcasing the rainbow of samples dyed in class. The recipe card lists both the scientific and common names of the fungi and lichens used to make the dye, it also includes the ratios of fungus to fiber, any mordants used, and pH modifications required to achieve the colors. Participants receive a procedural handout, a customized guide to local dye fungi and a beautiful hand dyed scarf. This workshop covers all aspects of getting started with mushroom and lichen dyes and leaves the student with the tools to carry on with their own exploration.

Alissa Allenis an amateur mycologist and the founder of Mycopigments. She specializes in teaching about regional mushroom and lichen dye palettes to fiber artists and mushroom enthusiasts all over the continent. Alissa got her start in the Pacific Northwest and has been sharing her passion for mushrooms for over 15 years. She has written articles for her website as well as Fungi Magazine and Fibershed. In 2015 she created the Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United discussion group and The Mushroom Dyers Trading Post. These groups have grown into a community of over 6000 members. Alissa uses brilliant colors found in mushroom dyes to entice people to take a closer look at mushrooms and their relationship within the ecosystem. To read more about her work, visit http://mycopigments.com/.

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