THE NATURAL DYE STUDIO


  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, Canada

With Charllotte Kwon & Sophena Kwon

$695 [Includes $150 lab fee] Class limit 16. Oct 2-6 (Mon-Fri) 10am-4pm.

What magic does the dyer use to coax colour from nature? Throughout the world this knowledge was guarded carefully, and learning the art often involved elaborate ceremonies and traditions. To this day, natural dyeing retains the same air of mystery and exotic intrigue that has compelled artists and craftspeople for centuries. 

Charllotte Kwon’s passionate study of natural dyeing techniques has led her to visit and work with cultures around the world. In this workshop she shares her vast knowledge of natural dye history and use. In addition Charllotte offers insight into her own in-studio processes and demonstrates how to get the most from a range of dyes and fabrics. The student will obtain a good technical understanding of the mordanting processes and the varied uses of such dyes as indigo, cochineal, madder, fustic, and many others. Gorgeous Turkey reds, indigo blues, and Indian yellows are just a few of the colours achieved as students work on cotton, silks, wools, and linen.

The full spectrum of more than 80 rich colours dyed in class will form a source book for each student. These books are a great inspiration and reference for years to come. Students will also complete several natural-dye projects. A variety of shibori techniques will be used and then dyed with natural indigo.

This is a practical workshop with many vats and some lifting. As we like to put it: if you can get your suitcase on an international flight—you should be fine.

Supply List PDF


Charllotte Kwon is the owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the director of the Maiwa Foundation. Through Maiwa, Charllotte also runs a textile archive and research library located on Granville Island. Under her direction Maiwa has produced four documentary films and a number of print publications. She also guides Maiwa’s substantial web presence.

Charllotte travels extensively each year to research handcraft and to supplement her natural-dye research. Always looking to extend natural dye use, she also teaches dye workshops with artisans around the world and has planned a series of natural dye master classes to bring exceptional practising artisans together.

 

Sophena Kwon grew up with Maiwa as the family business. She has learned much from the artisans Maiwa collaborates with (including master dyers in India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico) and from experimenting alongside her mom, Charllotte.

In 2009 Sophena studied with Michel Garcia in France. She has taught natural dye workshops with Charllotte (including at the Penland School of Craft and at Shakerag) since 2012 and developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa School of Textiles since 2014. In an effort to bring natural dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social in 2015. In 2016 Sophena was invited to present at the Mood Indigo Exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.  

In addition to her natural dye work, Sophena is a skilled photographer and clothing designer. Each year she travels to India to direct the Maiwa line of clothing.