Cochineal is a potent red dye harvested from an insect that feeds off the nopal cactus pad. Drawing from cochineal’s historic use throughout the world in dyeing fibers and textiles, this workshop will explore this pigment’s impressive range of hues to create a land-based screenprinting ink.
Under the guidance of our Village textile artist Kristin Morrison and visual artist Amber Bewick, students will learn how to make a natural dye for printing on fabric, as well as basic techniques for modifying color from red to purple to pink. Students will work through a step-by-step process of mixing print paste and dye ink, playing with different mordant modifiers to run color tests, and assisting each other in silkscreening artwork onto fabric and setting the print by steaming. The workshop will finish with students silkscreening a tea towel with an original artwork of the nopal cactus. This take-home project will serve as a vibrantly beautiful reminder of how our ecology nourishes more than just our bodies.