Land & People | Exhibition

Imprint: Explorations in Solar Dyeing

Marni Martin


Using solar dyeing as a visual metaphor for how the land in which we live has a lasting impact upon us, this work is a series of colour revelations from the plants I observe on my daily walks. The plant dyes the fibre creating a visual memory on the yarn…like fibres of our being changing with experience. The iron used as a modifier was sourced from my grandfather’s horse halters that had a good layer of rust. This provided a perfect connection…the threads of our past woven into our present.

The plants used are identified and grow wild in Ontario including some common garden flowers. Iron, used as a modifier, is also employed so that colour variations can be compared. In addition to the fibre samples of wool, silk, cotton and a cotton swatch, there are photographs of the solar jars that document the process. While solar dyeing is likely best used for small batch dyeing, the process and results have much to offer in terms of educating the broader public about natural dyeing, as the process itself is visually engaging and the results rewarding.