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Cultivating Place: Gardening For Sustainable Cloth And Community

 

Some people garden for food, some people garden for beauty, and some people garden and farm for cloth. Sandy Fisher is a weaver and fiber artist who since 1980 has literally interwoven her artistic eye, her impulse to garden, her love of natural fibers and natural dye colors to create functional art.

An appreciator of beauty and all its textures and colors and patterns, Sandy Fisher is a co-founder of the Chico Flax Project and Chico Cloth, both of which will be represented at the annual Fiber Fusion celebration this coming October at the Patrick Ranch in Chico. The Chico Flax Project is a young initiative experimenting with grow flax in order to produce a locally-grown linen.

On Cultivating Place this week, Sandy — artist, weaver gardener, and in many ways activist — shares with us her journey of gardening for sustainable cloth.

 

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Sandy is also a natural plant dyer. When Sarah and Jennifer visited her weaving and dying studio, she explained the different pigments she could get from different plants such as pomegranate rinds and zinnia flowers, and the mordanting process necessary to get linen cloth to accept dyes effectively.

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Listen to a sound clip from Sandy's studio

Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.