A Dyer's Garden: Growing, Creating, and Understanding Color

Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 quarters

Taught by

ethnobotany, environmental and cultural anthropology, plant studies

“She turned back to inspect a bank of greens: olive, jade, leaf, kiwi, lime, a silver-green

like the back of birch leaves, a bright pistachio.” Anne BartlettKnitting

Dyes are substances that impart color to other materials such as fibers (including fabric, paper, yarn, and baskets). Currently, an Indigenous Fiber Arts Studio is under construction as the first step of establishing an Indigenous Arts Campus adjacent to Evergreen’s “House of Welcome” Longhouse. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to design and install a garden of dye plants to support the Fiber Arts Studio. Toward this end, students will learn about the history of natural dyes in different places and times, including among the Coast Salish; explore color science, perception, and theory; study plants used as dyes; experience the art of dyeing with plants; and develop skills required to design and create a dye garden.  Activities will include lectures, readings, research, writing, workshops, labs, and hands-on fieldwork. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

botany cultural studies visual arts

Preparatory For

botany, arts, history, cultural ecology, Indigenous studies, horticultural design



Fall Open Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Saturdays, 9:30-5:30

First class meets, Saturday, September 30, 9:30-5:30, in Seminar II E1105

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$55 Fall for museum entrance and project supplies; $65 Winter for workshop supplies


2017-12-04Winter quarter fee added ($65)