This week’s FEEDBACK FRIDAY was with journalist, color historian and author of The Secret Lives of Color, Kassia St Clair. The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes, and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. Kassia went into detail about five of those colors.
Watch the video here.
Kassia’s first book The Secret Lives of Color is a top-ten bestseller, was selected as Radio 4′s Book of the Week and has been translated into over a dozen languages. The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, a Sunday Times Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Award. She is currently writing her third, due to be published in 2022.
She is a frequent contributor to NPR’s Marketplace and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 5 Live and CNN. She gives talks about colour and the cultural history of textiles at international venues including the Dallas Art Museum, Hay Festival, the V&A and Soho House. In 2018 she collaborated with Color Factory to create an exhibit at their site in New York.
Next week, we’ll be talking about textile conservation and preservation using natural dyes. Joining us will be Robin Hanson who has managed the textile conservation lab at the Cleveland Museum of Art for the past 21 years, Nancy Britton, Conservator Emeritus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and whose specialty is upholstery conservation, and Kate Smith, owner of Eaton Hill Textile Works and director of the Marshfield School of Weaving in Marshfield, Vermont.
If you are not familiar with FEEDBACK FRIDAY, every week, we speak with dyers, artists, scientists and scholars about our favorite topic, natural dyeing and color. Curated by Amy DuFault, Botanical Colors’ Sustainability Director and presented by Botanical Colors’ Founder Kathy Hattori.
We even have our own theme song thanks to musician Jimmie Snider!