Natural materials have been used to produce dyes and colorants throughout much of human history. in Oaxaca, the way of learning has been passed down from generation to generation. Join master dyer and weaver Porfirio Gutiérrez to learn about the rich history of the craft in its cultural context, and to make a range of richly colored dyes using natural colorants derived from indigo, cochineal and pericón (Mexican tarragon).
In this 2-day workshop, we will mordant yarn and felt using alum, and use the dyes we have prepared to dye these fibers, in some cases over dyeing to create a wider range of color. In addition, cotton cloth will be dyed with indigo (using a fructose vat). Students will take home a yarn and felt sample card and indigo-dyed cloth.
Porfirio will also be bringing a selection of his exquisite weavings that will be for sale (examples above).
We will have a potluck lunch, giving everyone time to socialize with the instructor and fellow students.
What to bring:
- Something to share for the potluck lunch
- Personal beverages and snacks
- Notebook and camera if desired
About the instructor:
Porfirio Gutiérrez is descended from a long line of weavers from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca. In this small village, known for its hand-woven rugs, he and his family are the last few textile artisans working to preserve the use of plant and insect dyes, techniques that stretch back more than 1,000 years in the indigenous Zapotec tradition. Porfirio’s full profile can be found here.
About the location:
West County Fiber Arts is the studio of felt artist Heidi Harris, on a beautiful 1-acre property in rural Sonoma County, California. Classes will take place in a tented area in the garden.
If you are coming from out of town, overnight accommodations are plentiful in the vicinity — from nearby hotels to camping at the Russian River. See our Food & Lodging page for suggestions.
Please read the school policies on our Registration Policy page.
To register, just click the “Add to Cart” button above. When you check out, you may pay by credit card online via a secure Paypal payment page. There is also an option to pay by check if you prefer.