The Color Blue: A Two-Part Indigo Dye Workshop Series

Join us for a two-part workshop, The Color Blue, led by Botanist-in-Residence Hope Leeson and RISD student Clara Boberg TX 23. These workshops will take place on Saturday, November 6th and 13th, from 1 to 4pm at the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, Biodesign Makerspace (Room 11).

In this workshop series we will investigate color as a means of communication, explore the theme of fermentation as process, and delve into the importance of the color blue for living creatures. During these workshops, we will process and dye indigo grown here at RISD in the Nature Lab’s aquaponics tank and in the Regenerative Earth Collective Dye Garden (established by Clara Boberg). REC aims to provide students with the material and space to explore regenerative growing, and plant fibers and color as a medium for their work.

This series is open to current RISD students, faculty, and staff only. You must be available to attend both workshop sessions to participate. Reservation is required. RSVP HERE.

The Biodeisgn Makerspace in the Nature Lab
13 Waterman St
Providence, RI — 02903

November 06 1:00 pm -
November 13 4:00 pm

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Workshop Session 1

Session 1 Activities

  • Lecture on the color blue: biology and communication
  • Focus on human desire for blue color, rarity of blue in plant dyes, and indigo
  • Preparation of indigo vat and fresh leaf fermentation from plants growing in Room 11
  • Dried leaf dyeing (using heat)
  • Dyeing with dried indigo leaves (braid of cotton, linen and wool fiber)

November 06
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Biodesign Makerspace (Room 11)

Workshop Session 2

Session 2 Activities

  • Lecture on the color blue: biology and communication
  • Focus on bird, fish, and insect view of blue color and the loss of blue in the environment
  • Remove leaves from fermentation, adding Calcium Hydroxide and aeration
  • Let pigment settle (before lecture) and filter (end of workshop)
  • Students leave filters to dry; to be collected in a few days
  • Dye with indigo vat (braid of cotton, linen and wool fiber + small swatches of fiber brought in by students)

November 13
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Biodesign Makerspace
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The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

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