I am multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, natural dyes and textiles. I am best known for my work with natural indigo, snow-dyeing techniques and zero waste practices. Born in the Midwest, I was raised to be a forager. It began with fruit that I gathered with my parents to make pies and evolved over the years. In my late twenties, I began to forage for medicinal herbs with my husband, who is a trained herbalist. As a textile artist I began to incorporate foraging for local color into my practice several years ago, to see what local color looks like.
As a longtime textile artist and surface design instructor, my focus has been working with both synthetic and natural dyes. I create wearable art, mostly apparel and accessories, as well as hand-dyed and painted yardage for fashion and interior designers through my line INDIGO & SNOW. Due to the labor intensive and lengthy process of foraging for color and preparing natural dye vats to extract the botanical color, I have not chosen to make this work commercially available in the form of wearable art.
The exhibition, Foraged, will invite visitors to connect with plants and place using art as a bridge. This work is an invitation to Minnesotans to slow down and experience an exhibit of foraged local color. It has been an honor to collaborate with Artist Annie Hejny in creating this exhibit that will open at Gamut Gallery in Minneapolis October 24.
Until now, I have chosen not to create pieces that exist on walls. My focus aesthetically has been on creating functional items, and seeing the beauty in utility. I believe that Foraged will reach a wider audience if it is in a gallery space, and not limited to the closet of a private residence. This work is about more than foraged local color; it is about people slowing down and connecting to place. Using these materials in a series of works that can be exhibited at a site where people can then connect to nature, and see some of the same plants we are using in the creation of these pieces, encourages a deeper engagement with the natural world.