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 four-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

natural dye facilitator 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:

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.

Breakdown:

  • 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.


August 4 – 7, 2022

September 22 – 25, 2022

Some words from our guests…