Volume 22 Issue 1 A Journal Dedicated to Natural Dyes Fall 2017


Pamela Feldman. Picidae (Detail). Naturally dyed churro.
Pamela Feldman
Picidae (Detail).
Naturally dyed churro.
Photograph by Robert Feldman


Dear Readers:

Welcome to the Fall 2017 Edition of the Turkey Red Journal. With the cold weather fast approaching, I have been busy harvesting and gathering dye plant materials. I had a very successful gardening season, with a bumper crop of Japanese indigo (Polygonum tictorium). As I wrote in the Spring 2017 edition of the TRJ, I am part of a team of dyers experimenting with different processes using Japanese indigo. We will have an article for you next year in the TRJ. Also, after a few years of nursing along rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), I finally have enough to do some small experiments.

This academic year (2017/2018), I was invited to teach the Natural Dye class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It's a pleasure to share what I have learned over the years with a talented group of students. It's the end of the first semester and students are busy working on their final projects, which range from fashion design using repurposed garments from the second hand stores to creating color from food waste from local restaurants.

This edition has two very exciting articles. Lorenzo Pérez, a third generation cochineal farmer on the Canary Islands, wrote about the history and resurgence of cochineal production on the Canary Islands and how his family has worked to create a Highly Qualified crop of cochineal.

Regina Fitiao, a professor at the American Samoa Community College, has written about making and dyeing Siapo (painted bark cloth). It is a beautifully-written article about the dyes and especially about the care that is taken in collecting the oʻa dye from the trees. My son Tristan, who works for the Sea Education Association, was visiting American Samoa earlier this year where he met Regina.

We have an open submission policy for articles, artwork, exhibit notices and reviews for for upcoming issues. We are interested in featuring dyers from around the world, so don't hesitate to submit your ideas for articles. Send your submissions to madder@comcast.net.

Back issues of the print version of the TRJ are still available for purchase. Contact me directly for further information. Please keep sending in your thoughts and suggestions. We appreciate all your comments.

If you are not currently on the TRJ new issue notification mailing list and would like to receive notification when the new issue is online, please send an email to madder@comcast.net. Your email address will not be shared with others.

As always, a special thanks to Bob Feldman, our copy editor and webmaster for all his hard work. I would like to extent a warm welcome to Virginia Hamilton who volunteered to help with the copy editing. Thanks so much, Virginia.

Pamela Feldman
Editor and Publisher