Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Botanist Makes a Dye Bath

"Black Walnut Dye"
mixed media collage on canvas

One of the things that John and I have an abundance of on our farm is black walnuts.
As a child my mother and I would go to her childhood farm in Shelby Ohio and collect black walnuts.  Mom loved the texture and flavor of them in her holiday baked goods.  And she was willing to go to all of the work and mess necessary to get those precious walnut meats.  Removing the husks can stain your hands black and getting the nut out of the inner shell is time-consuming.  Around our farm in Southington, the squirrels are the only ones who go to all of this trouble.

Until this fall!

 In October I decided to use the walnuts to make a dye thanks to a visit and some inspiration from Jessica at Praxis Fiber Workshop.  I dyed both paper and fabric in the walnut dye (see my post from Sunday, Oct. 25) as well as a few strands of linen, cotton and silk threads.
It felt good to use this free resource and I loved the results.  Here is the collage that documents the experience which I think fits in perfectly with my Botanist's Journal series.  


  1. Shelling black walnuts was my father's therapy, I think. He had a whole system figured out with hammer and special pliers. I never liked the taste of them but I still have a jar of them in my freezer. Thanks for the memories.

  2. I agree with the comment about the taste. Thanks for responding. Good to know that others have black walnut memories.