Last week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY, we had Alice Fox Of Wild Textiles. Alice talked about fibers and dyes in her allotment she’s been harvesting and processing. She talked through the stages of flax growing, how she gathers various ‘weeds’ like bramble, bindweed and nettle and explain how she uses them in her work. Most of the materials Alice uses are grown or gathered on her allotment plot (community garden). She is based in the UK in Saltaire, West Yorkshire and she exhibits and teaches nationally and internationally.
Watch the video here.
About Alice Fox:
Sustainability is at the heart of Alice’s practice. The desire to take an ethical approach has driven a shift from using conventional art and textile materials into exploring found objects, gathered materials and natural processes. The work that Alice makes is process led. She gathers the materials that are available to her, testing, sampling and exploring them to find possibilities using her textiles-based skill set and techniques borrowed from soft basketry. Alice makes sculptural works, bringing different materials together to form tactile surfaces and structures.
Establishing her allotment garden as a source of materials for her work has provided a space where Alice can experiment, exploring the potential of what grows there, planted and wild, as well as other materials found on the plot. Materials are produced, gathered and processed seasonally and are hard-won: There may only be a small batch of each type of usable material each year. As a result, each bundle of dandelion stems, bramble fibre or hand processed flax is enormously precious by its scarcity and the meaning attached to it through its sourcing and hand-processing.
Following a first career in nature conservation, Alice studied Contemporary Surface Design and Textiles at Bradford School of Art (2011), followed by an MA in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University (2019). She has had work acquired by Newcastle City Library, the International Quilt Museum, Lincoln Nebraska and the Ahmanson Collection, USA. She was commissioned by the clothing company TOAST and Kettles Yard, Cambridge for their Re-New project in 2019. She is published by Batsford (2015 and 2022) and has a number of self-published titles including Natural Processes in Textile Art: From Rust Dyeing to Found Objects.
If you are not familiar with FEEDBACK FRIDAY, every other 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!