Botanical alchemy comes alive in workshop
Mel Sweetnam, owner/ operator of the newly established Mamie’s Schoolhouse, delivered her “Intro to Botanical Alchemy” workshop on May 6 at the Baddeck Community Hall. Fibre artists/enthusiasts took much away from the experience.
“I learned about how to prepare linen and cotton for dyeing my experience is with wool, mohair and alpaca. I also gained experience with a natural dye that has commonly been called 'madder' throughout history. It is a plant that is native to Eurasia, but grows well in Cape Breton,” said Annamarie Hatcher, who has been researching local 'dye' plants for about ten years.
“Fibre addict” and owner/ operator of Ewephoria Felt, Claire Drinnan, was equally impressed.
“Mel is clearly incredibly dedicated to preserving ancient knowledge in colour extraction from plants to dye our garments or food while being mindful to not overharvest. The history bits were fascinating met with a day of hands on learning where lots of new friends were made.”
Check out Sweetnam’s upcoming workshops here: www.mamiesschoolhouse. com/workshops/.
Mel Sweetnam (right) discusses dyeing techniques during a fibre workshop she held May 6 as Claire Drinnan, of Baddeck, looks on.