I shot these images at an ecodyeing workshop at Elizabeth Bunsen’s studio in Burlington, Vermont yesterday. I have many more photos to share from the workshop however, I thought I would just post these 4 images today. There is some magic alchemy in this process that has a unique ancient pull.
This process make me feel like a lot of other possibilities and options exist in many realms of my life not just in my creative work.
On a recent chilly Vermont afternoon I had the pleasure of visiting Elizabeth Bunsen’s studio to unwrap some “bundles”. I was honored that she saved them for me. I truly understand how much creative restraint it requires to not open them up right away.
They are so mysterious…every single time. I can’t really explain what they feel like—an ancient scroll, a map, a message from ancestors, a signal from nature, a calling, a memory, a longing…they’re so peaceful and yet a little haunting as well. I told you that you that it’s nearly impossible to describe what it feels like to unwrap these bundles.
“I have been dyeing wool and silk with eucalyptus for a few years – the scent that results is enough to keep me going especially during our long winters. I have quite the stash of beautiful samples and experiments… some I stitch (I love using the stitch as a design element) and some have resulted in teaching aprons, hats, pants and even sweaters. For me – a sleeve or a portion of a garment can become an art object all by itself.” —Elizabeth Bunsen
When Elizabeth refers to these pieces she uses “rusted” as a verb not an adjective. I love that. She was showing me different textiles and then let me know how they were “rusted”.
We really connected about making art that is usable and environmentally friendly. Her technique is easy on the earth and she uses fabric she already has or was given. That’s how I prefer to work too.
Her work has such a unique quality that at one point when she was showing me a sweater from her mother (top photo) I felt like I should be in a back room at The Shelburne Museum with white gloves on. I really adore the archeological quality of her work and process…again an ancient pull.