All Upcoming Events

An Introduction to Natural Dyes
A Workshop with Blue Red Yellow
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Natural dyes have been used since 2600 BC and on all over the world. It is the original form of color on fiber and has represented many cultures throughout history. Indigo and Madder root have been major crops for the colors blue and red on several continents, and continue to be incredibly strong dye materials. Other natural dye colors can be pulled out of a long list of plants and minerals, many of which may be in our own backyards. It hadn't been until the industrial revolution that the use of natural dyes became dominated by synthetic dyes.

This workshop will go over a holistic way to utilize natural dyes on fiber. It will cover basic washing, mordanting and dyeing techniques demonstrated with several different types of plant materials. The primary focus will be on shibori dyeing techniques using a naturally fermenting indigo vat and how to begin and maintain the vat. Leave the workshop with a canvas tote bag, worksheets and samples.

BLUEREDYELLOW is a natural dye house started in Philadelphia and run by Elissa Meyers and Mira Adornetto. The business sprouted after receiving a Corzo Center for the Creative Economy grant from The University Arts in which the two are alumni. Aside from teaching workshops, Elissa and Mira currently work on custom dye orders, working with businesses as an alternative dye service to synthetic dyes. They utilize direct sources for plant material and often grow and forage for color. They have been mentioned in several publications including The New York Times, FastCompany, Flying Kite Magazine and Philadelphia's Grid Magazine.

Doors open at 6pm; workshop starts at 6:30pm Members: $15; Non-members: $25
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Fungi, Mushrooms, and Woodland Jewels of the Forest
A Botanical Art Workshop with Margaret Saylor
Monday, November 17, 2014

So much of the mystery and intrigue surrounding fungi stems from the tiny kingdom on the forest floor that they inhabit. Not only does the inclusion of secondary elements such as spiky grasses, brittle leaves, satiny acorns, or even visiting critters interest add to the composition, it also teaches the viewer more about the habitat and world of this particular mushroom the artist has chosen to depict.

Join us for a day of painting at The Hort. Members from the New York Mycological Society will give a brief overview of local mushrooms and fungi. They will supply identified specimens to paint, along with some additional natural items for you to work into your composition. We will take a look at the fungi, and learn more about where it is commonly found. Students will then sketch, compose, and build a unique and accurate painting. Concepts will be taught through demonstrations and lots of individual instruction. All levels of ability are welcome!

Margaret Saylor finds a ton of fungi in her native Berks County, Pennsylvania. Always drawing, she studied painting first with artists from within her own family, and then earned her BFA from Kutztown University in Communications Design. She has been a graphic designer since 1988. Margaret was awarded a certificate, with distinction, in Botanical Art & Illustration from The New York Botanical Garden in June, 2013. She has developed and taught a series of outdoor drawing workshops in conjunction with a local conservancy (made possible by an Artist & Education Grant from ASBA); experimented with watercolor and graphite techniques on vellum, and is currently the Editor/Designer of The Botanical Artist, quarterly journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Margaret is a member of ASBA, PSBI, (Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators) and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Exhibiting her work in solo and juried shows, Margaret paints in her home studio in Mt. Penn, PA, where she lives with her husband, two teenage boys, a dog, a cat, and many plants. Her painting on vellum, Dryad's Saddle, was accepted into the 17th Annual International at The Horticultural Society of New York.

10am to 5pm (with 1-hour lunch break)
Course fee: Hort members $150; Non-members $190
Click here to view a materials list (PDF)
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Handcrafted Soaps
A Workshop with George Pisegna
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Join us for a botanical DIY soap workshop with The Hort’s George Pisegna. Handcrafted soap is perfect for a unique gift or to enjoy in your own home. Learn how to use natural dyes, essential oils, and dried herbs to make soap that looks, smells, and feels wonderful.

Most handmade soap is made from glycerin which is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. When you purchase store-bought soap, the majority of the glycerin has been processed out; however, when you make your own soap, you have the opportunity to create something that is glycerin rich and soft. Join us as we demonstrate the easy to learn melt-and-pour process and create an assortment of beautiful, handcrafted glycerin soaps. We will use a variety of botanicals and organic essential oils; such as tea tree, lavender, rosemary, fir needle, clove, mint, olive oil, and goat's milk.

This workshop covers the basics of glycerin soap making that will allow you to craft your own soaps easily at home. All materials are included, and you will leave with several bars of soaps perfect for holiday gifting!

Doors open at 6pm; workshop starts at 6:30pm
Members: $15; Non-members: $25
Email for more information


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