Integrating biological systems at every stage of production, Seacolors yarns, sweaters and blankets are carefully thought out, thoughtfully carried out, and left a little bit up to chance and the magic of the moment.
As a farmer, I have been designing the very fine (soft for aparrel, not carpets or meat) animal genetics since 1990, and nurturing the soil life where it grows. The fibers are then blended, balanced and twisted to perform for a specific use, a little different every year, according to the animals on the hoof, the weather, and how the pastures are responding. A constant balance of nature and science, I call my farm a “Yarnery“, spinning a slightly different twist of elements in each custom blend.
As an artist, I have designed a low impact dye system to match this softness, exchanging chemical salts or acids with seawater and vinegar, and trading time for temperature in solar vats rather than a petroleum sourced dyers boil. Since we start with a no itch wool, we do not add any chemical itch in the treatments, yielding watery colors and gentle touch to integrate look and feel. Some lots are highly variegated, others not so much, and all have a visual texture resonating with the way we see real colors in nature. Solar dyed, no two vats will ever be the same, always in the moment, yielding color patterns that tell a story as much as they delight the eye.
Having started dyeing with wildgathered botanicals in 1982, I was disappointed with both range of palette in New England and the metal mordants necessary to broaden that range. My Seacolors dye system was born to give full range of color motion, reformatted with seawater and natural acids to replace the chemicals, and solar dyed to minimize carbon energy. I now revisit the palette on location in my garden with occasional cultivated color, or for richer density, from naturals gathered by my Zapotec friends in Mexico. Using dyes sourced from animal, vegetable and mineral, I play with PH and time, and use only non-toxic mordants to make the colors fast.
As a designer and creatrix, these colors become my palette. Each unique garment or housewear is executed in my shapes, sizes and colorways under my direct supervision.
- For finishes, I either handspin and/or dye small lots to enhance the pieces.
- My buttons are mostly handmade too, those I have found and created from seaglass or beach stone, are similarly handmade, or come from my antique collection.
- Blankets are finished with whip stitch to accent the color, or minimize the “noise”.