Real Red, True Blue & Fast Yellows: Using Ancient Natural Dyes to Create Lasting Beauty with instructor Iris Sullivan Daire

Fri, January 17 @ 11:00 am – Sun, January 19 @ 3:00 pm
$135 plus a $100 material fee (Please pay material fee directly to instructor)

Winter 2020 Workshop Series

Real Red, True Blue & Fast Yellows: Using Ancient Natural Dyes to Create Lasting Beauty with instructor Iris Sullivan Daire

11am-3pm class each day: Fri, Sat, Sun Jan 17, 18, 19
(optional open studio work time 4-6pm Friday and Saturday)

Indigo, Madder, and Weld – the names are an incantation for the trinity of natural color in the ancient world of Europe and the Near East. Meanwhile in the Americas, they created amazing textiles and painting manuscripts with Indigo, Cochineal and Marigolds starting over 6,000 years ago.

In this three day immersion workshop we will delve into the potential of these 5 nature based dyes to create pure and long lasting colors. Each day will focus on one of the three primaries. Sourcing directly from the raw materials, we will create vibrant hues on cloth and paper.

This class will provide a strong foundation for working with natural dyes, including the science that makes it all work, how to best prepare fibers, and growing dye plants.

The students will work together creating a full rainbow of dyed cloth samples, and experience the alchemy of making pigment lakes that can be turned into inks and paint. Each student will take home a detailed instruction booklet, a rainbow cloth, and the dye portfolio they create for future reference.
(An optional small final project can be completed during the open studio hours outside of class.)

Friday: Royal Reds- Madder Root & Cochineal Bugs
Dye Session, and making a Madder Lake
Saturday: The Sky and Sea – Indigo Blues
Dye session, and Mayan Blue pigment
Sunday: Yellow like the Sun- Pure Weld & Sacred Marigolds
Dye session and Weld Lake

Iris Sullivan Daire is fascinated with plants and color. She lives with her family in Astoria Oregon where she grows dye plants, and is slowly mapping the color potential of the wild plants that grow in and around the Columbia River. She learned how to weave on a floor loom at age seven, and has been working with natural dyes and pigments for over 25 years in her work as an artist. Happily there continues to be new things to learn all the time. Her website is


COST:  $135 plus a $100 material fee (Please pay material fee directly to the instructor.)

BRING: Apron or studio work clothes, notebook, scissors. Please bring a sack lunch and/or snack. Hot coffee and tea provided. Optional items: a dip pen or personal paint brushes, up to 8 ounces of wool yarn made into 1 ounce skeins, or 1 yard of prewashed natural fiber fabric.

Children 10 and up with a high interest in the topic are welcome when signed up with an accompaning adult. 12 students max.

RSVP: via or 360-642-2542 between 9am-9pm

The Sou’wester Lodge at 3728 J Place, Seaview, WA 98644


This class is part of the Winter 2020 Workshop Series. All classes are open to the public and all skill levels welcome. Visit to see the full schedule of artist-led workshops.

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