3-Day Mineral Mud-Dyeing Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana
June 9 @ 10:00 am - June 11 @ 5:00 pm$695
A special opportunity to learn from a master craftsman
Join us at the beautiful Fibershed Learning Center on Black Mountain Ranch near Point Reyes Station for a three-day workshop on Fermented Mineral Mud-Dyeing taught by textile artist Aboubakar Fofana. The workshop runs from 10 am to 5 pm each day. This will be Aboubakar’s only West Coast mud dyeing workshop in 2023.
The workshop will focus on traditional fermented Malian mud as the medium and your own creativity as the path to working with this amazing substance. Aboubakar will guide us through the use of several tannins, including the traditional dried leaf tannin (n’galama), to prepare the fabric. After that, we will grind and mix the mud to create our textile medium. Each participant will work on small samples and then complete a larger project using the traditional Malian woven stripcloth, finimugu, during the 3-day class.
The workshop includes:
- Three days in-person intensive study with Aboubakar on fermented mineral mud-dyeing at the Fibershed Learning Center
- All materials — mud, dyes, and hand-woven finimugu cloth from Mali
- Viewing Aboubakar’s videos and stories of his mud-gathering feat
- The opportunity to see some of Aboubakar’s prized textiles for sale from his workshop in Bamako
Optional: Participants may bring 1/2 yard of any cotton, linen or hemp fabric for additional projects
Please bring: any personal snacks, lunch and beverages (a selection of teas will be provided)
Enroll here: eventbrite.com/e/501022089557
Also of note: Fibershed and Fiber Circle Studio are honored to host Aboubakar at a trunk show of his exquisite textiles at Fiber Circle Studio (113 Kentucky Street in Petaluma) on June 8th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. All sales 100% benefit Aboubakar’s projects in Mali and France. We hope you will join us! (More details here)
Cancellation Policy: Due to the expenses involved in bringing Aboubakar to California for this special workshop, we are unable to provide refunds unless we can fill your space from the waitlist. If someone who is waitlisted purchases your space, we will refund your ticket, minus the Eventbrite fees. You are also welcome to transfer your ticket to someone who wishes to purchase it directly from you.
“In 2005, I traveled to Mali, West Africa on a singular search for traditional mudcloth, or bogolanfini. However, all I knew was that this was a handspun and handwoven cloth that was decorated with graphic designs. It was made from mud that held secret and cultural powers. People in Bamana culture use these for rites of passage. So our team traveled throughout tiny remote villages. We also visited women elders who made mudcloth using simple tools to create secret and beautiful designs. Each artist had a closely guarded recipe for the mud. Each artist knew how to mix, ferment and enrich this very elemental ingredient to make magic. It was fascinating to see how using a stick, a hollowed-out dried gourd and some humble fabric, these women artists created masterpieces with this mysterious mud. It was like a whole new world opened for me.” — Kathy Hattori, Botanical Colors
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.
Born in Mali and raised in France, Aboubakar Fofana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, textiles and natural dyes. He is known for his work in reinvigorating and redefining West African indigo dyeing techniques, and much of his focus is devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials.
Read Beyond the Blueness, an interview with Aboubakar on Tatter.
View a video from Botanical Colors’ Feedback Friday for a tour of Aboubakar’s Bamako studio, where you will see him harvest indigo, do some indigo dyeing, introduce his artisans, and see all the amazingness that is Aboubakar on his home turf.
Follow Aboubakar on Instagram @aboubakarfofana
Photo credits: Top, clockwise from upper left: photo of mud cloth artist Nakunte Diarra by Kathy Hattori, and two photos of Aboubakar working with mud by Francois Goudier. Above, portrait of Aboubakar by Francois Goudier, and photo of textiles from Aboubakar’s studio by Anna Brones.
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 100% 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.