When we visited our United States clients in 2019 we also visited “A verb for keeping warm” which served as one of the inspirations for the direction we were taking Meaningful Crafts (then still called “De Witte Engel”). This lovely creative space in Oakland (Huchiun), California re-imagines what a craft store and workshop space can be in modern times. Blending ancient crafting techniques like knitting and natural dyeing with astonishing design and cultural and societal awareness A verb for keeping warm shows us what creative enterprises can bring to the world.
One of the two founders of A verb, Kristine Vejar wrote a fantastic book about natural dyeing that allows a bit of the magic from A verb to come to those who cannot (routinely) visit the creative space.
About the book
This is what they have to say about their book:
Whether you are an aspiring natural dyer, a seasoned hand, or would just like to know more about the process of using natural dyes, this book is full of inspiration and in-depth instruction.
Thousands of natural materials can produce glorious colour-the cochineal insect produces pink, maroon and purple, and more than 500 species of plants produce indigo blue.
Now, in the Modern Natural Dyer, expert Kristine Vejar shares the most user-friendly techniques for dyeing at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs as well as with natural dye extracts.
Demystifying the magic, Vejar explains in straightforward, easy-to-follow detail how to produce consistent, long-lasting colour. With stunning photography of the dyes themselves, the dyeing process, and 20 projects for home and wardrobe, the Modern Natural Dyer is a complete resource for aspiring and experienced dye artisans.
Textiles, in the form of quilts and sweaters, have always been part of Kristine’s family’s cultural landscape. She grew up within knitting and quilting circles, where the creation of textiles functioned as a way to create friendships while making something useful. Years later, via studying Art History and a Fulbright grant in India as well as working at the Textile Museum in DC, Kristine realized textiles can embody endless potential to communicate identity and ethics. Through witnessing the various ways textiles are made and dyed – from spinning cotton to natural dyeing, Kristine grew committed to learning about the intersection of nature, people, and clothing.
Kristine began practicing natural dyeing in her kitchen. In 2007, Kristine created her first line of naturally-dyed yarn. This is the seed from which A Verb for Keeping Warm has grown. Kristine published her first book The Modern Natural Dyer (Abrams) in 2015.
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