NEUTRAL TERRITORY: 50 SHADES OF GREY


  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L 3M3 Canada

With Carol Soderlund

$695 [Includes $100 lab fee] Class limit 16. Nov 13-17 (Mon-Fri) 10am-5pm.

Have you been frustrated when the dye houses discontinue one of your favourite black dyes? Do you sigh in frustration because all the samples you have developed with these dyes go out the window? 

Learn about making your own black mixes using fibre-reactive Procion MX pure primary dyes. We will create the ever elusive neutral blacks that gradate to neutral greys, warm blacks that gradate to pinky lavender, cool blacks that gradate to steely blue, and grunge blacks that gradate to greenish hues.

In addition the class will cover creation of many neutral studies—tans, browns, grey-blues, grey-reds, and other chromatic greys. Think of the range from palest alabaster to inky night sky—all value ranges will be examined. Taupes and tans can be fascinating as well—ecru, heath, titanium, putty, and driftwood. Sharing our results, we will compile a large reference book. Our own 50 shades of grey will just be the beginning of our explorations in neutral territory, as we cross into 50 shades of brown as well.

From shibori to low-water immersion, neutrals pose their own unique dye challenges and opportunities. We will examine the particular tricks and tips for dyeing neutrals when using immersion, low-water immersion, and thickened dye applications. 

As time allows, interested students may also pursue discharge studies. When the subtleties and colour shifts of discharge are added to the mix, possibilities explode!  

We will consider the evocative nature of neutral colour, and ideas of combining neutrals with punchy colours will be discussed. From subtle atmosphere to dramatic moodiness, the range of expressiveness with neutrals is limitless.

Supply List PDF


Carol Soderlund's works have been exhibited nationally and internationally since 1985 in such venues as Visions and American Quilting Society shows. They have received numerous awards, including Best of Show at the 1989 International Quilt Festival and Best Use of Color at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Exhibition 2000. She has taught colour, fabric dyeing, colour-mixing techniques, and quilting throughout North America and is currently working on a book on these subjects. 

“My work is primarily driven by a passion for colour interactions, the illusions they create, the luminosity they can bring to a surface. I love creating my own palette of fabric through painting, dyeing, and other surface design processes including discharge, shibori, stamping, screening, and foiling. My goal in design is to have a piece that intrigues the viewer at first glance and then continues to reveal surprises upon every inspection.”  

www.carolsoderlund.com