Ridges Art Night Features Dyes from Nature

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Shannon Pump can be found in the woods and fields of Door County, foraging for mushrooms, sumac, pine greens and wild berries.

It wouldn’t be an uncommon sight for anyone familiar with Pump and her mushroom business, Wild Door, except that instead of selling these items to local restaurants for consumption, she will be taking them home, throwing them in a blender, sieving out the lumps and chunks, and adding a dash of vinegar.

The result? Natural dyes in a range of colorful and neutral shades that will make their way to The Ridges in time for its Wine, Cheese & Crafty Things hands-on art night Nov. 28.

Shannon Pump stands alongside the natural items that will be turned into dye for The Ridges' Wine, Cheese & Crafty Things event Nov. 28.

Shannon Pump stands alongside the natural items that will be turned into dye for The Ridges’ Wine, Cheese & Crafty Things event Nov. 28.

During the workshop, led by Pump (who is also a Ridges naturalist), participants will receive a canvas and “all the brushes they could ever dream of,” along with access to the natural dyes, the guidance of Pump in using varying brush strokes to create different pieces of art, and a history lesson.

“People were always looking for ways to manipulate anything that they had so you get into the history of it and you learn this is something that has been going on for centuries,” she said.

Pump likens the dyes consistency to that of watercolors, which is fitting, given that high water content is crucial to leaching dye from natural materials. While guests will be provided with a canvas to paint on, use of the dyes is limited to one’s imagination. Pump has used dyes to create paintings, greeting cards and to dye a tablecloth.

DSC_0106“I am very artistic and I work with a lot of different media but to work with something like this in combination with my business, plus it being natural, it’s really a tool for me to get information out to people saying look, you can create art from things in your backyard,” Pump said.

“It’s going to be an introduction and a how-to, so it encourages [participants] to go home and try these things on their own,” she added. “Say they have a handkerchief from grandma or a small table doily…perhaps it has a stain on it or perhaps it’s ripped or they want to give it a new meaning or life, this would be a way for them to introduce something from nature into that and really make that project their own.”

Wine, Cheese & Crafty Things begins at 3pm on Saturday, Nov. 28. Meet at The Ridges Cabins, 8288 County Q in Baileys Harbor. Workshop fees are $10 for Ridges members, $13 for the general public. Limited space is available so pre-registration is encouraged. 


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