Elise Walsh

Natural Dying

Designing and Branding a company called Finn and Oona, which is focused on exploring and experimenting with the natural dying process. I will be developing and creating a series of products that are on trend with color and design. Utilizing the local community to source wild flowers as well as food remains to use for dye; also farms and local businesses to use for dye material.

Through learning about flowers from my mom while I was growing up, I never thought about extracting color. It wasn’t until I explored the art of Indigo dying with Shibori that drew me to want to learn more about natural dying.

For my thesis I will be researching many plants, vegetables, and flowers that have gone unexplored in our region. Through trial and error, I will be studying native plants and flowers to learn what colors can come of them. Expanding a color palette based on experimenting with the natural elements.

Reaching out to the local community, I will be utilizing provision from restaurants and farms. With fibers, I will use business’ throughout the U.S. This includes alpaca or wool, and organic t-shirts that are produced and made in the U.S.

I will be collaborating with local artisans to make products using the naturally dyed fabrics. Main colors that will be used are based on the ease and access to gathering the flowers, leaves, or vegetables year round. Additional colors used will be based on the season.

In conjunction with the material process, I will be exploring branding and marketing. Concepts to be developed will be as followed: web, print, and package design.

This process is an inspiration for growing and maintaining a green business.

30 October 2016


Going Back to our Roots

My inspiration for my thesis project has stemmed from my mom and her love for flowers. For my thesis project I plan on exploring and learning about the natural dyeing process. This includes working with local businesses, such as flower growers. The research will include but not limited to, learning about the many different plants that create the natural dye, studying the region they're grown in, climate, and so forth. Also, planting the seeds myself and gathering what is needed for the natural dye. I will apply that knowledge to dyeing different kinds of natural fabrics.

I plan on collaborating with different artists, such as family members who work with textiles; but also expanding to outside artists. Connecting with and understanding processes and techniques. Within each collaboration bringing forth who the artist is, and their background along with my vision and work with natural dyes. I will produce a wide array of pieces that are focused on using our environment.

The focus of my project is on the process of natural dyeing: from seed to flower to dye. Then focusing on the process of outside artists who work with natural materials. Collaborating with them to create an array of products that are handmade. My goal of this project is to bring to light what other artists do and how our environment can be utilized to create beautiful things.

Possibilities throughout the processes will be designing a process book which will explain the process and the knowledge that I will gain. Also, making an at-home dye kit, for those who don't live in a region where a certain flower/plant my grow, this includes package design and product design. The products made will be put onto a website along with a blog that will explain each process and each artist that I work with.

May 2016

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