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Materials Lab Workshop: Exploring Natural Dyes with Zapotec Master Dyer and Weaver Porfirio Gutiérrez

Courtesy of Porfirio Gutiérrez.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This event is at capacity.

Natural materials have been used to produce dyes and colorants throughout much of human history. The leaves of Indigofera are among the oldest sources of dyes and colorants and have played a major role in global trade; the red juice of the cochineal insect has influenced cultures and artistic practices throughout the world since the 16th century; and pericón, or wild marigold, which is indigenous to Mexico and known for its medicinal uses, is a source of a beautiful yellow dye.

Join master dyer and weaver Porfirio Gutiérrez to learn about the rich history of the craft in its cultural context, to make a range of richly colored dyes using natural colorants derived from the above materials, and to apply the dyes to yarn and cloth.

Recently featured in The New York Times, Gutiérrez is committed to keeping his family’s traditional Zapotec practices and knowledge alive. He and his family are masters of traditional Zapotec weaving and come from a long line of weavers from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca.

A selection of the Gutiérrez’s family’s dye materials has just been added to the Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection, the world-renowned archive of artist materials.

The event will be held in the Materials Lab, Lower Level.

$15 materials fee. Registration is required and payment must be made in advance. Please email or stop by the museums’ admissions desk to register. Space is limited to 15 participants. Minimum age of 14.