This event will happen in-person at the Farmer's Market in Victoria Park.
Materials provided, but please feel free to bring along additional materials for personalized colours. Through this process you will see how you have begun to make your very own personal colour story. This connects you to land and place – a moment in time, a memory forever captured on cloth.
If you would like to bring your own item to naturally dye, please be sure that the item is a natural fibre, such as cotton, wool, or silk. As well, it is very important that you pre-mordant your item before it can be dyed. Be sure to use a non-reactive pot that will only be used for natural dyeing, such as stainless steel, unchipped enamel, plastic, or glass.
Harvest rhubarb leaves, being sure to wear gloves and wash your hands well - Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid which is poisonous. Chop the leaves into smaller pieces and place into a large pot. Alternatively, you can use Alum, which can be found at most grocery stores. In a well-ventilated or outdoor area (do not cook near young children or animals), boil the leaves in water for an hour to extract the tannin. Remove the leaves, and insert your fabric item. Let simmer for an hour, then remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Rinse your fibre in cool water and allow to hang evenly until it stops dripping. Then place the item into a ziplock bag and let it sit for 24-48 hours. Then remove and hang to dry.
Home items: onion skins, avocado skins & pits (broken/ground into smaller pieces), turmeric, pomegranate rinds - or go with your gut and try out some other natural materials to see what kind of colours they produce - this is your colour story!
Foraged items: Gather in the wild. It is important to offer a gift to the plant - this can be tobacco, a song, what have your ancestors traditionally gave as an offering? For Melanie, the most important aspect is gratitude – whatever that might look like to you. She likes to gather in a way that one would never know she has been there. Never take the entire plant. Always leave some for the other creatures of the land. Often plant ID books will have some information on how the plant was traditionally used. This may offer some clues on if it will yield colour to your cloth. Always record your findings: where did you find the plant, what time of day/season, and draw a picture. Some examples are: Goldenrod, nettle, leaves, and berries.
Garden items: Dead head your flowers, and record what you have collected. Some examples are: Marigolds, hollyhocks, and dark flowers (deep purples/blacks)
Melanie Monique Rose is a visual artist from Regina, Saskatchewan Treaty 4 Territory, and a long-time contributing member of Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective Inc. She attended Kootenay School of the Arts with a major in the Fibre Arts in Nelson, B.C. Melanie has exhibited her artwork in both group and solo exhibitions. One of her greatest honors was to receive the distinction of Excellence in Textiles in Dimension's 2013 touring show. In 2020, CBC celebrated Melanie as a Future 40 for her work in arts and culture. Most recently she was a recipient of the Saskatchewan Foundation of the Arts Endowment Award. In addition to showing her work, Melanie has worked in the province as gallery facilitator, story-keeper, and art instructor for the Mackenzie Art Gallery and in addition teaches various workshops at both public and private institutions. In 2018 her daughter Meadow Rose was born and is currently a full-time mom, caregiver, and artist. Becoming a mother has increased Melanie’s desire to share the stories of her culture and family and has challenged the way she creates independently and as a shared experience with her daughter. Melanie is excited to see where the journey takes her as an Artist.