foraging for color, ink-making, natural dyes, wild pigments
Wild Pigment Project’s book suggestions! Books about identifying, gathering and using pigments are at the top, followed by highly recommended books about pigment history and ideas about color.
Make Ink by Jason Logan
Jason Logan’s book, Make Ink situates wild color at the center of contemporary creative life. Logan swings the door to urban foraging wide open by including the scraps of industrial and architectural decay — crumbled sheet rock, tarnished copper wire, rusty nails — in his list of raw materials to be gathered for ink-making, along with plant parts one might find in the tangle of undergrowth nearby: acorn caps, pokeweed, and wild grapes, among others. His distinctly literary approach is an invitation to alchemists everywhere who have been itching for tangible outlets, for places to merge the poetic and the sensual. The book includes a conversation between Logan and Michael Ondaatje, poetic genius and author of The English Patient, further illuminating the act of making ink as a subtle encapsulation of history and locality. Also included is a gallery of Logan’s gorgeous ink “tests” and wild ink drawings by well-known writers, artists, and designers — what better proof of the salience of wild-crafted color? Logan’s recipes (Sap Green! Safflower Pink! Copper Oxide Blue! and many others) are thorough and keenly described, as are his steady reminders to approach color-making with fluidity and openness. This book is a total pleasure, a small universe to swim in and the beginning of many color adventures.
Thousands of natural materials can produce glorious color—the insect cochineal produces pink, maroon, and purple, and more than 500 species of plants produce indigo blue. Now, in The Modern Natural Dyer, expert Kristine Vejar shares the most user-friendly techniques for dyeing yarn, fabric, and finished goods at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs as well as with convenient natural dye extracts. Demystifying the "magic," Vejar explains in explicit, easy-to-follow detail how to produce consistent, long-lasting color. With stunning photography of the dyes themselves, the dyeing process, and 20 projects for home and wardrobe (some to knit, some to sew, and some just a matter of submerging a finished piece in a prepared bath), The Modern Natural Dyer is a complete resource for aspiring and experienced dye artisans. ~ excerpt from www.kristinevejar.com