Category Archives: pigments & dyes

To Dye For

It was after seeing the rather tragic and touching film, Seraphine, that I was inspired to try my hand at making natural dyes. The film is a true story about the self-taught French artist Seraphine Louis who lived in poverty, working as a housekeeper by day and painting by night. Her work was accidentally discovered by a German art collector, and through his support, she received some level of success as a naive painter until madness seemed to take over, with Séraphine ending her days in an asylum. She made all of her pigments using a variety of available ingredients including clay and animal blood. While she required pigments for her paintings, we’ll keep it simple, bloodless, and safe for kids by making some dyes to colour wool batting or wool roving. This will in turn be used to make some really neat felt balls in my next post.

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