Pigments with Tilke Elkins
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“Pigmentshed” with Tilke Elkins of Wild Pigment Project

May 27 @ 10:00 am - May 28 @ 4:00 pm


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Two Days of Hyperlocal Paint Palettes & Reciprocal Studio Practice

Join us at the beautiful Fibershed Learning Center on Black Mountain Ranch near Point Reyes Station, CA, for a 2-day workshop with Tilke Elkins. (Please note: this workshop takes place on the Saturday & Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and meets from 10 to 4 each day.)

Explore paint-making through collaboration with the minerals, plants, and waste-stream foraged pigments found right here at Fibershed.

Enroll here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/586290409397

Paint-making through deep relationship with place nourishes both the painter and the land. By intercepting materials as they travel through their life cycles and exploring opportunities for reciprocity — ways to give back to the land and its communities, both human and interspecies — artists can align their material practices with values of reverence for place.

Join artist and Wild Pigment Project founding director Tilke Elkins for a two-day collaboration with foraged colorants found at Fibershed. Together, we’ll build a wide-ranging palette using found objects, exhausted dye baths, garden waste, on-site minerals, and more. We’ll explore a variety of local binders, including ‘keno’ (eucalyptus sap) and make both chalk and charcoal paints which will allow us to further broaden our palettes.

We will touch briefly on lake-making techniques (especially in the case of exhausted dye baths), but our focus, for botanical colorants, will be alternatives to lake pigments, including inks and “pinks.” (Lake pigments are a means of fixing a soluble plant colorant, like a dye, to an insoluble mineral, which can then be dried and used as paint. The primary mineral used is commercial alum.)

We’ll meet from 10 to 4 both days. Our schedule will evolve in response to the weather, mood and communications we receive from the land, and will include:

  • introductions & sharing of personal creative practice (bring work if you like!) and cultural/historical/ancestral relationship with land
  • discussion of local Indigenous ancestral & contemporary pigment practices
  • quiet, non-verbal tuning-in to place
  • guidelines for reciprocal foraging practices
  • safety guidelines
  • group foraging time
  • preparing materials (plants, soils, found objects) for paint-making
  • paint-making with foraged materials
  • charcoal & chalk-making
  • wild paint binders
  • painting techniques for maximizing palette range

You’ll take home a holistic, land-centric, reciprocal approach to paint-making, multiple perspectives on how to work with wild pigments as paint, and a series of small paintings of your own.

Each participant should bring the following:

  • personal snacks, lunch & beverages (an assortment of teas will be served on site)
  • a notebook and pen if you like to take notes
  • 4 mason jars (quart size)
  • 2 spoons
  • 2 paint brushes
  • a pencil
  • a surface you like to paint on (optional — several options will be available)
  • a paint-dedicated mortar & pestle — stone or ceramic (about 4 inches diameter)
  • palette knife or plastic scraper

Additional materials that can be purchased in advance, or borrowed from Fibershed during the workshop:

Tilke Elkins is an artist, writer, and curator based on Kalapuya territory / Oregon, focused on site-specific/responsive painting and social practice art. Tilke has worked with mineral and botanical pigments since 2007, and is the founding director of Wild Pigment Project, a collaborative initiative she established in 2019 to promote ecological balance and regenerative economies through a passion for wild pigments, their places of origin, and their cultural histories.

Tilke is a passionate educator who teaches regular courses on foraging and paint-making. She has introduced principles of wild pigment reciprocal practice to diverse creative communities, including Portland Community College, the University of Oregon, WildCraft Studio School, Lewis and Clark College, the Pacific Northwest College of Art and to arts educators and their students worldwide through her online comprehensive foraging and art-material-making course, Being With Pigments. Her most recent work was exhibited at form & concept gallery in Santa Fe along with the Wild Pigment Project Group Exhibition, which she curated. She was a co-organizer for the inaugural Pigments Revealed International Symposium in 2021, and was a resident at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology for the month of February, 2023.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds (minus Eventbrite fees) available up to 30 before the event. If you cancel after 30 days before the event, 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. Otherwise there will be no refunds. You are also welcome to transfer your ticket to someone who wishes to purchase it directly from you.

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.

Clothing Swap ClosetBONUS: 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.

You may 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!


May 27 @ 10:00 am
May 28 @ 4:00 pm
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Fibershed Learning Center
14000 Point Reyes - Petaluma Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 United States
(415) 455-3070‬
View Venue Website


Fibershed Learning Center
View Organizer Website


Fibershed Learning Center
14000 Point Reyes - Petaluma Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 United States
(415) 455-3070‬
View Venue Website