Conservation in the Studio: Green Practice

Evening Wetlands

Evening Wetlands

I am an individual business owner. Every piece of paper, metal, plastic or other material that we use is recycled. I use electronic communication wherever possible. In my workshops  I teach these same practices in the art of textile resist dyeing.

All of my work is made from natural fibers, either cotton or wool. My raw materials (fiber and dye) come from New England, Rhode Island, and North Carolina. I manufacture all of my resist-dyed wool pieces in my studio in East Tennessee. Jacquard textiles are woven at the Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

In my dye process, I re-use the water, exhausting the dye completely in order to use the same water over again with different dye baths. In addition, I allow the material to cure in the sun wherever possible, to conserve on fuel. When finished with the dye process, the water is neutralized to a neutral PH and we keep it in the rainwater holding tank to be used on the garden and in cleanup.

All of the wood, metal and paper that we use in process is recycled.

My work is a combination of contemporary aesthetic, modern technology, and ancient techniques.  Materials include wool and cashmere for the clamp resisted pieces, while my jacquard work combines merino wool, rayon, and other synthetic fibers.

For the past several years, my work has been devoted to an exploration of the environmental impact of human presence on the natural world, in particular the way in which we manage our water resources. These pieces are all part of a series entitled “Endangered Species”. The jacquard pieces are a subset entitled “Alabama Wetlands”, and the clamp resist pieces reflect the fragile rainforest environment in the mountains where I live.

In my dye process, I re-use the water, exhausting the dye completely in order to use the same water over again with different dye baths. Often, I even cut up and re-use earlier works, as well as textiles that I collect from various sources. I am conscious of the materials I use in reflection of the concept of my work, resulting in a holistic and sustainable practice. The tradition of repurposing textiles is an ancient one; my textiles, in turn, will be cut up, recycled, and re-used to make new products when the time comes.