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Mushroom Dyes of the Northern California Fungal Fibershed with Alissa Allen
March 3 @ 9:00 am - March 5 @ 4:00 pm$695
Join mushroom dye expert Alissa Allen for an immersive 3-day course at the Fibershed Learning Center near Point Reyes Station
This course offers a rare opportunity to spend three full days exploring mushroom and lichen dyes and focusing on our regional fungal dye palette with Alissa Allen, a highly experienced educator. We will meet from 9 am to 4 pm each day. Details about location and what to bring will be included in your confirmation email. Maximum class size is 15 students.
Day 1: Foraging & Testing
We will meet at the Fibershed Learning Center for introductions and a course overview, then go for a walk together and talk about mushroom ecology and habitats, and observe fungi in nature. After returning to the Learning Center we will discuss the mushrooms we have collected and then test and document the potential dye mushrooms among our collection, plus make some spore prints. Students will take home test cards and samples from our dye and spore print experiments.
Day 2: Extracting for Optimal Results
Alissa will be demonstrating how to dye a regional rainbow from mushrooms and lichens that she has collected, and how each fungal pigment type works differently with the local water and various modifiers. Students will receive yarn samples plus a recipe card for every color of yarn in our regional rainbow.
Day 3: Dye Your Own Fiber
Our final day is focused on dyeing your own fiber (mushroom dyes provided). You’ll want to bring animal (protein) fibers in small 1 oz parcels — clean, weighed and labeled with at least your initials. Fiber should be unmordanted, in the form of yarn, bats, hankies, fabric, or finished pieces. We will dye at least 6 of these 1 oz parcels per person. Bring more or slightly larger pieces too, as there will likely be ample additional dye available.
This day is dedicated to taking a more playful approach, which Alissa believes is essential to learning. We will work with larger quantities, observe color variations on different fibers, mordant in the pot, and take home enough mushroom-dyed fiber for a project.
If you’d like to take home leftover dye, bring containers with lids. There will be likely be both small amounts and larger amounts available.
Enroll here: eventbrite.com/e/483987127527
Tuition Scholarships & Transportation/Childcare Stipends
Fibershed is offering two scholarships to most workshops; one scholarship if it’s a small class. In addition to scholarships for tuition, we are offering a limited number of stipends for transportation and/or childcare. If you would not otherwise be able to attend, and would like to be considered as a scholarship and/or stipend recipient, please answer a few brief questions on this Google Form. Responses will be reviewed by Learning Center staff and kept strictly confidential.
Alissa Allen was introduced to mushroom hunting as a child. In 1998 she attended her first wild mushroom show, hosted by Seattle’s Puget Sound Mycological Society and was immediately hooked. She has been a volunteer, student, and teacher of mycology ever since.
In 2012, Alissa founded Mycopigments as a program to bring mycology to fiber artists and fiber artists to mycology. Since its inception, she has led hundreds of students, in three countries and twenty-five states, through the steps of exploring and celebrating their regional fungi through the lens of dye research.
In 2015, Alissa created Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United and the Mushroom Dyers Trading Post discussion groups, as a platform to mentor, connect, and facilitate study between her students and folks with less access to her classes. These groups, along with her prolific workshop offerings, writings, and informational dye booths, have brought together a vibrant community of over 30,000 members.
This year Alissa was honored to host the 19th International Fungi and Fiber Symposium in Port Townsend WA. During this week-long event, students and teachers from all over the world gathered to share their knowledge.
Though her teachings are centered around regional fungal dye palettes, her overall mission is to inspire people to engage more deeply with nature. She believes when we engage our senses to explore the natural world, we form deeper connections that lead to healthier communities and propel us to care for our planet.
To read more about her work, visit mycopigments.com.
BONUS: The Clothing Swap Closet is now open during workshops and events at the Fibershed Learning Center!
Visit the Clothing Swap Closet when you attend a workshop or event at the Learning Center and exchange your natural fiber garments and accessories. Your clothing contributions must be clean and in good condition. Each contribution entities you to choose one item of comparable value.
You may arrive up to 30 minutes early for the workshop you are attending, and/or depart up to an hour after the workshop ends, to allow time to browse and try on items in the closet, and make your trade!