|Welcome to PamelaFeldman.com
I am a colorist, focusing on natural dyes, and a weaver. For me, the art of making color and the process of weaving can represent a record of our experience. Colors hold a memory of observations as we move through natural environments and shifts in seasons: a field of russet prairie grass, the subtle changes in color of a hibiscus petal, the blood red-branches of a dogwood that is barren of leaves.
Many of the plants I use for making color come from my natural dye garden in Chicago; others I forage locally. I take a scientific approach to this work, experimenting with these materials in my dye laboratory that is set up with burners, mixing plates, grinders, beakers, and vats. Here I conduct research and produce swatches in wool felt and silk fabric that get labeled like specimens. Through this process I can investigate the hidden colors that plants can produce—the lanceolate green leaves of the madder plant, for example, give no hint of the brilliant red roots that are hidden in the soil. The inspiration for the color palette in my current work comes from my daily practice of walking in a local nature preserve, observing and recording shifts in color.
Reflecting my background in weaving, I use small looms to create blocks of color from the dyed yarns. The yarns are stretched in a simple small frame loom and woven one on top of another in a rhythmic pattern. For me, these meditative processes of observing, researching, dyeing, and weaving become part of the resulting works, with each step building upon the other as a record of experience.
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