Botanical Bounty: A Natural Dye Retreat
A sweet recipe for a beautiful life. Nurture a sustainable and conscious relationship with nature, through the inquiry of intuitive art making in the form of natural dye: nature, art, creativity and spirituality.
This three day retreat will introduce you to the beautiful, slow craft of Natural Dyeing.
Over the course of the weekend you will learn the basics (and beyond) of selecting and preparing natural textile fibers to receive colour, and the slow, patient art of extracting colour from a variety of plant materials, including discarded food items from the kitchen!
You will learn how to fix natural dyes to fabric, and which dyes are colourfast (ones that last) or fugitive (ones that don’t). We’ll explore several methods of folding, tying & dyeing to create patterns yield incredible designs.
Meet Your Natural Dye Facilitator, Wendy Martin:
Wendy, a long-time facilitator at Northern Edge Algonquin, is the creator behind Muskoka Tye Dye botanicals, an arm of Muskoka Tye Dye, a textile dye company run by Wendy & her husband Jason. They describe themselves as “visual storytellers,” designing garments as “Colour Therapy For The Soul.”
Sustainably harvested colour, foraged & extracted from nature – specifically local plant derived colour – is Wendy’s primary interest. Vibrant colour can be found in an array of plant materials, flowers & barks. Impressions & “eco-prints” are created from a wide cross-section of leaves. When transferred onto textiles & paper with the application of heat, a kind of magic is generated. Wendy refers to this as “nature’s poetry.”
Natural colour spectrums can be shifted by using an array of minerals which provide an endless realm of natural colour palettes. Wendy first learned about natural dyeing when she discovered how to extract pigment from avocado pits & peels. A most excellent discovery. 4 years later, and many more discoveries in processing natural plant dyes & inks, Wendy is thrilled to be blending her love of nature, creation, movement & well being into the community.
As a movement & embodiment educator for 18 years, Wendy weaves movement exploration, meditation, energy medicine, writing practices and nature celebration/connection into her facilitation.
The synergy of inner and outer cycles, such as the lunation’s, season’s and our personal life cycles, inspire her art, facilitation & creative evolution and quest for well being.
“The time spent in nature developing connection to your surroundings and your creativity hydrates the soul and I can’t wait to share these practices with you.” – Wendy Martin
Here is how we will fill our days (while honouring space for rest and restoration, of course):
Each day will begin with a gentle movement, breathing practice to encourage a flow state (the highly valuable state of being that encourages creativity).
This will help us open to all inner and outer channels to receive our highest intuitive feedback, while dissolving stiffness in body and mind. The meditative movement & energy practices Wendy offers are suited to all ranges of mobility and ages.
These offerings are a big part of her own creative art process as well as a cornerstone to overall well being.
Weather permitting these will be offered outside & are optional.
Skills You Will Learn:
- Foraging in a sustainable & conscious manner for plant material like flowers, berries & barks (gathering windfall wherever possible) to dye with
- Learning what is available to us in this local bioregion in terms of natural colour & create impressions
- How to choose natural textiles & the difference between working with cellulose & protein fibres
- How to scour (wash) & prepare (mordant) fabric to receive colour
- How to use mineral modifiers & salts to shift colour
- Immersion dyeing
- Solar dyeing
- Bundle dyeing (water saving dye technique)
- Creating colour from kitchen scraps
- Naturally dyeing paper
- Tying and resistance techniques to create different styles & patterns on fabric
- Learning the several different types of naturals dyes – plant, flower, insect & mineral dyes
- How to gather & store your fresh dye materials for projects down the road
This will be a weekend dedicated to spending time in communion with our bodies, hearts, breath, creativity, community and environment. Sharing a balanced range of artful activities and down time will encourage you to stretch into your whole creative, inquiring self.
- Botanical Bounty Program Fee: $450/person (Register before May 1, 2021 for a $50 early bird discount)
- Meals & Accommodations: from $899/person depending on choice of cabin.
Program fee includes all textile & garments used for dyeing, dye materials (unless foraged on site), facilitation & instruction.
July 22 – 25, 2021
September 16 – 19, 2021
Some words from our guests…
- "Heaven on earth! This place is so amazing, if you are looking to escape the noise of the city, and unwind, you will not regret coming here. The hospitality and food are incredible, the place is spacious and has lovely grounds. A huge thank you to the amazing chef Greg, the awesome Tim, who played music and sang for us at night, and the wonderful family who own the land and let us into their home. Thank you thank you thank you! We will be back for a winter retreat for sure!"
-Ahmad Atalla, July 2018
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- "A lot of work goes into making all guests comfortable and I can tell you, we all were and all was done seamlessly. From the young folks in their 20's to the ones in their 50's and in between, we all had a GREAT time . . ."
-Catherine Moore, February 2016
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- "A Relaxing and fulfilling weekend - went into the retreat with no expectations and was blown away! It is more like staying at a close friends cottage than a retreat with a group of strangers. The instant camaraderie that is shared between participants is remarkable! The food is all locally sourced, nourished the soul and palette . . ."
-Lauren Reinhart, September 2018
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- "The best part was that while we were hosting the retreat for our students, it didn’t feel like we were working at all. We really felt like we were taking part in a retreat as well. We got to do what we love, teach some yoga, be with our friends, make some new friends and really just enjoy the outdoors and relax . . . We made connections that we never had a chance to make before. We were able to do a lot of bonding and really just get to know each other on a completely different level . . ."
-Andrew Moniz, Owner, One Tiger Yoga
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