Botan­i­cal alchemy comes alive in work­shop

The Victoria Standard - - Arts -

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.

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