fibershed mushroom dye class
Last Saturday I had the fun of co-teaching a Fibershed sponsored mushroom dye class with Katharine Jolda. What a magical day it was! Because my focus was on teaching the class, I didn’t have time to take photos. But one of the students, Dona Snow, posted an album on Picasa, and has kindly given permission for me to share the link to the album and a few of her photos in this post.
The setting for the workshop was the ranch of Mary Pettis-Sarley, one of the Fibershed Producers. And a dream setting it is!
The mushrooms that Katharine and I had on hand were Omphalotus olivascens (some frozen and some dried), Phaeolus schweinitzii (dried), Pisolithus tinctorius (dry), Gymnopilus spectabilis (frozen), Dermocybe cinnamomea (dried) and Dermocybe phoenicea var. occidentalis (dried). We dyed samples of wool from Mill Valley that had been spun at Yolo Wool Mill, as well as some silk.
All the samples were cut into smaller pieces so that each student got samples of all the mushroom dye colors produced. I was especially pleased with the variety of colors we obtained from Omphalotus olivascens, depending on the mordant used.
I’ll be teaching another beginning mushroom dye class next January at SOMA Camp, and Katharine and I hope to teach future mushroom dye classes for Fibershed as well. It all depends on finding mushrooms though, and that depends on the rain. It has been such a dry winter here, and it feels so good to hear the rain again tonight as I write!
Thanks to everyone who attended the class, to Rebecca Burgess for encouraging us to teach it, to Anna Smith Clark for taking photos for Fibershed, and to Mary and Chris for hosting at their beautiful home, which is also home to many adorable fiber animals. Mary sells the yarn from her animals on the Fibershed Marketplace if you wish to knit with a bit of wool/alpaca/mohair from our California countryside.