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Mycopigments: Exploring Mushroom Dyes of the Redwood Coast

  • Scotts Valley Senior Center 370 Kings Village Rd Scotts Valley, CA, 95066 United States (map)

Mycopigments: Exploring Mushroom Dyes of the Redwood Coast

with Alissa Allen

sponsored by Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz

Saturday, March 21, 11:00AM-3:00PM

Scotts Valley Senior Center, 370 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley



Many wild mushrooms and lichens contain permanent, intensely colored dyes. In this workshop, you will explore a multitude of dye mushrooms found right here on the Redwood Coast.

Wild foraged fungi and ethically harvested lichens will define our palette. Using 10 species of urban and woodland fungi, along with eco-friendly mordants, we will create a full spectrum of incredibly rich colors - about 20 in all! Learn about foraging, ethical practices, basic identification concepts, and get hands on experience extracting mushroom and lichen dyes for wool and silk.

Shibori dye techniques will be demonstrated, and you will take home a beautiful hand designed silk chiffon scarf, a rainbow of dye samples created in class, recipes and complete instructions for recreating the dyeing process at home, and a color guide to the best local dye fungi and lichens. Do not miss this unique educational opportunity to learn about the brilliant dyes found in wild mushrooms and lichens of our area.

Most activities will be done indoors, so dress in comfortable layers. All supplies will be provided, but there will be a larger community dye pot of yellow and or green dye for a small personal item. Feel free to bring a light weight (1-2 oz) un-dyed wool or silk item for the big pot. Un-dyed silk scarves will be available for $5 in class.

Alissa Allen has been experimenting with mushroom-derived pigments for 15 years. Raised by a forager in the Pacific Northwest, she has been a student of the natural world her entire life. For the past two years she has been travelling around the US; studying regional habitats and sharing local mushroom dye palettes with fungophiles and fiber artists alike. Mushroom identification is her primary passion, but Mycopigments are her obsession. In addition using mushrooms to dye wool, she is currently exploring lichen dyes and mushroom pigments for paint.

Earlier Event: March 21
The Inner Altar, The Holy Temple
Later Event: March 21
2015 Nauryz Celebration