Before dyeing begins, the plants, earth minerals & insects that the dyes are made from must be collected. These ingredients are gathered in the mountains above the village, grown in home gardens, and sometimes grown by neighbors who specialize in one element, like pecan or sapote negro for example. After dyeing, the yarn is hung up to drip dry.
When it is dry, it is ready to be wound onto bobbins. Each dye requires its own unique method for bringing out the colors. Some herbs like tarragon, pecan leaves, sapote negro, and tree moss must be boiled in water and then the yarn is soaked for different amounts of time depending on the desired color. Other colors necessitate many steps and sometimes more than one ingredient to achieve a good dye.
Porfirio Gutiérrez and his family are masters of traditional Zapotec weaving and the creative skills associated with their fine art. They have descended from centuries of weavers. Their village, Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, has been famous for the art of weaving for centuries. Nearby ruins that date back as far as 500 BC still stand decorated with the same patterns and symbols that are used in today's designs.
Student will learn an ancient natural dye tradition. They will work with minerals, plants and insects, for this two days workshop, and produce three to five color shades.
Class size is limited to 7 students. Classes meet on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day.
Cost: $195 ($175 for members).