3-Day Fermented Mineral Mud-Dyeing Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana


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3-Day Fermented Mineral Mud-Dyeing Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana

July 25-27, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.


This year we are thrilled to be able to offer an in-person 3-Day Fermented Mineral Mud-Dyeing Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana in Seattle. The workshop will focus on traditional fermented Malian mud as the medium and your own creativity as the path to working with this amazing substance. Aboubakar will guide us through the use of several tannins including the traditional dried leaf tannin (n’galama) to prepare the fabric. After that, we will grind and mix the mud to create our textile medium. Each participant will work on small samples and then complete a larger project during the 3-day class.

In 2005, I traveled to Mali, West Africa on a singular search for traditional mudcloth, or bogolanfini. However, all I knew was that this was a handspun and handwoven cloth that was decorated with graphic designs. It was made from mud that held secret and cultural powers. People in Bamana culture use these for rites of passage. So our team traveled throughout tiny remote villages. We also visited women elders who made mudcloth using simple tools to create secret and beautiful designs. Each artist had a closely guarded recipe for the mud. Each artist knew how to mix, ferment and enrich this very elemental ingredient to make magic. It was fascinating to see how using a stick, a hollowed-out dried gourd and some humble fabric, these women artists created masterpieces with this mysterious mud. It was like a whole new world opened for me.

3-day Mineral Mud-dyeing Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana

We will hold the workshop outdoors under a covered canopy in the glorious Seattle summertime. There is plenty of room to spread out. In addition, it is conveniently across the street from Botanical Colors’ studio in a quiet neighborhood setting. We serve light refreshments and beverages.  However, there are numerous nearby restaurants, cafes and a natural foods market.

The workshop includes:

  • Three days intensive study with Aboubakar on fermented mineral mud-dyeing
  • Small class format – limited to 13 participants, all skill level5
  • All sampling materials and mud and dyes from Mali
  • Aboubakar will present videos and stories of his mud-gathering feats
  • Access to Kathy’s library on African textiles featuring mudcloth
  • Access to Kathy’s traditional mudcloth examples
  • Light refreshments and beverages


All sales are final. This workshop is non-cancellable and non-refundable.

All Washington State, King County and CDC Covid-19 guidelines will be followed.   Our workshop will be held outdoors under covered tents.  We strongly recommend that all attendees be fully vaccinated.  Depending on the status of the pandemic we may ask for proof of vaccination and results of a rapid antigen test.

Botanical Colors reserves the right to cancel classes in the unlikely event of circumstances beyond our control. If a class is cancelled, Botanical Colors’ responsibility and liability are limited to a refund of class fees.  We will not be held responsible for charges related to travel expenses, air tickets, travel insurance, etc.


Partial scholarships are available for this workshop thanks to our generous donors.  Please contact [email protected] for details or fill out the scholarship application here.


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