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.
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.
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.
Learn & Experience the beautiful, slow craft of Natural Dyeing:
- 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, prints and impressions
- How to choose natural textiles & the difference between working with cellulose & protein fibers
- How to scour (wash) & prepare (mordant) fabric to receive colour
- How to use mineral modifiers & salts to shift colour
- Bundle dyeing (water saving dye technique)
- Creating colour from kitchen scraps
- Naturally dyeing paper, with an eco print process and dip dyeing
- 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: $550/person
- 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.
Available Dates in 2022:
Meet Your Natural Dye Facilitator:
Wendy, a long-time facilitator at the Edge, co-created Muskoka Tye Dye alongside 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.”
Some words from our guests…
- "My recent experience at Northern Edge, was nothing short of life changing~ I am forever grateful for all the kindness and space offered for me to expand my heart and mind and fill my cup up once again with light and love. There is magic at work within those woods!"
-Laura Adamiak, September 2021
- "I just loved the Botanical Bounty Retreat that was held recently at Northern Edge Algonquin facilitated by Wendy Martin and Vicki. Although I don’t consider myself very artistic, Wendy made the experience fun and provided easy instruction and individual guidance on each step of the process. The 3-day workshop offered us the opportunity to experiment using several dying techniques including bundle and immersion dying, eco printing and making your own natural inks on different types of mediums. Wendy has a friendly and carefree personality that made me feel comfortable experimenting with natural plant-based materials and the end result was just beautiful! I love the silk scarf I made!
I also enjoyed the yoga sessions Wendy offered to those of us who were interested. She is a highly experienced and knowledgeable instructor whether the topic is natural plant-based dying, yoga or meditation.
The weekend was exceptional value for the cost of the experience and I look forward to attending a future workshop on natural plant-based dying with Wendy and will certainly be checking out her online yoga classes and video library! Many thanks Wendy!! I look forward to trying out all that I learned this weekend!"
-Joyce Minten,, September 2021
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