Today, we bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor, 44 Clovers. In Rachel's words:
"Rachel draws on her deep passion for natural color, vintage textiles, local sheep breeds. Creating truly unique eco friendly hand-spun treasures for her etsy shop, 44Clovers. Rachel also provides natural dye education with a particular interest in foraging for dyes with an ecological context through workshops and online tutorials.
Visit Rachel's Etsy shop."
SouleMama: Tell us about your background. What path led you to the work you do today?
Rachel: I have always loved color, textiles, and nature. In college I studied painting and after college I went into the early childcare field while also further exploring textiles. In the evening and while on breaks, I could be found teaching myself to knit and spin. I was always driven by figuring out the origins of how things are made. I went back to school again for an art ed degree as working with very young children inspired me to be an art teacher. As I was completing my student teaching, I was also working part time at what is now Portfiber here in Portland Maine. I was given the task of learning how to use natural dyes from the Earth Hues kit so I could then teach workshops at the shop. It was from there that my ideal of what I wanted work to mean to me took an unexpected turn. I filled in one year at the New England Fibers Arts Retreat in Washington, Maine, I taught various fiber arts classes in after school programs. In late 2012 I decided to take a leap and build something really different based on my love of color, nature, and education. Some of my most joyful and content moments is when I’m creating or experimenting with textiles and color and encouraging others to create and explore what speaks to them. Since I went full time with 44Clovers I've taught at Squam Art Workshops, continue to teach at the New England Fiber Arts Retreat every year and now from my home studio on Peaks. All year round I'm moved by whatever color I see around me in nature. I often have a few test pots going of local plants including mushrooms and lichens, testing the colors on various fabrics and my handspun yarns.
SouleMama: Is there a special place that inspires you?
Rachel: Next to Maine where I've lived now for 32 years, there's Ireland. I’ve been traveling to Ireland for 16 years and I always make it a point to go back to the same region no matter what my reason is for visiting- The Burren in Co. Clare is a deeply special landscape where both Arctic and Mediterranean plants live side by side in-between limestone rock. The history, light, air, music, food, and people all creates a very particular kind of energy that can makes me feel more connected to the earth than any other place I’ve been. My last trip was one year ago with my husband for our honeymoon. As we traveled around the country we had a blast discovering weaving studios and mills. Making new friends and visiting old ones. We even got to help our new basket weaving friend, Kathleen by participating Ireland’s famous garden show, Bloom, in the craft demonstration tent. And I spent some time cooking up tests pots of local plants. We plan to go back very soon.
SouleMama: What’s the product or offering that you are most excited about in your shop/class right now? Tell us about it.
Rachel: For this summer season I have a brand new collection called Mermaid Threads. Fresh from the dye pots, I’ve collected over 20 vintage and reclaimed blouses both with unique and classic lines. Something I envision a mermaid wearing if she were land bond. All starting with a white or cream base, I’ve over dyed each piece with a combination of plant dyes ranging from indigo, red onion skins, cochineal, & madder. The colors were inspired by the sea glass I find here on Peaks and islanders flower gardens like bright poppies. I’ve been so excited about the color uptake and blending on each piece.
SouleMama: As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
Rachel: Exactly what I’m doing now. As early as 4 years old I was using watercolors, playing with my mother’s fabric scarps and spending a lot of time outside looking at plants and day dreaming about creating something with all the natural color I saw. From then on I’ve constantly spent my life pursuing color and studying nature. When I found natural dyes it was like two of my dreams collided into this reality.
For today's giveaway, 44 Clovers is generously offering the following gift to ONE winner:
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To enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person, please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 8:00 am EST on Sunday, and announce the winner, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. Comments closed! The winner is...
I love the muted colors of nature dyed linen and yarn. The clothing and hand spun yarn in her Etsy shop is gorgeous!
Posted by: Roseanna
Thank you, 44 Clovers!