Thea Haines: Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden

Thea Haines
Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden

June 10, 2016 – September 2018
ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard, Hamilton Artists Inc.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2:00-4:00 pm

Ecoprinting Workshop: Saturday, June 11, 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm
$5.00 Limited space available. Pre-register by emailing


The Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden is an exhibition of colour. Until about 150 years ago, all colour – artist colours, fabric dyes, were derived from natural sources – plant, animal, and mineral. The garden is a display of plants that are traditional sources of painter’s colours, such as madder (which produces alizarin crimson) and weld (yellow lake), and important textile dyes, such as goldenrod, bedstraw and woad. A remarkable property of botanical colour is that each plant contains multiple pigments, producing a range of hues from each dyestuff. All plants contain various chemical compounds that make them useful to us – for food, and medicine, and some of these compounds, like carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthrocyanins – give colour. The colours produced from one species of plant can vary, depending on climate, growing conditions and other environmental factors – which gives each colour local cachet/terroir. The Artist Palette Community Dye Garden will create awareness of the integral role that plants play in our lives, as food, and as colour, while creating an educational opportunity for the public to engage with the practices of by-hand textile making, using natural materials through hands-on workshops, and artist talks.

About the workshop:

Ecoprinting:  Bundle Dyeing with Plant Colour
Haines will lead a workshop Saturday, June 11 at 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm using a direct method of dyeing fabric with colour from plants. Participants will experiment and create pattern and colour using dried flowers, leaves, kitchen and floral waste. There is limited space for the workshop available. Please pre-register in advance by emailing A small registration fee of $5.00 is required for materials.

Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist, and educator living and working in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Currently an instructor in textile design at Sheridan College, she was previously an artist-in-residence of the Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre, and a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative, Toronto. Her research, practice and consultancy is focused on the use of natural colourants in surface design, printing and small-scale production, including the cultivation and harvest of colour-producing plants. Current projects include a study of colours produced from food waste, and a regional survey of dye plants in Hamilton. She received her MA in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design, in London, UK.

Hamilton Artists Inc. would like to acknowledge the support of the Hamilton Community Foundation and the Incite Foundation

© 2020 Hamilton Artists Inc. All rights reserved.