making dyes 2015

Above:  dye process and pictures of gathering pinecones, bark, and making dyes from the grocery store.
We are almost there (Spring) and things are beginning to grow!  I am looking for bark/tree-based options, as it seems the earth is littered with materials.  As I look around my yard and neighborhood, I find several things that are naturally available.  Our plants (or trees in this instance) wake from the long winter and shrug off lose bark and seeds for the next growing season.  These ‘cast offs’ are abundant from the giant pines, birches and spruces in my yard.  With a little research (and the help of Tom)- I identify these trees and what I've gathered.

Sasha Duerr wrote a beautiful book called Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes where she expresses her interests in eco-literacy and the language of nature. She writes about connecting with the simple rhythms of nature and plant cycles.  Have I found this rhythm? And, can these dyes be a continuation of a cycle of growing and giving back?  I like this idea and the experimentation of finding new colors!….and the smell from the gifts from these trees is amazing!

Emily Donovan