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Archive: January, 2011

Meet Our Dyer – Jackie Ottino-Graf

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“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Our dyer, Jackie moved to Maine from Massachusetts to study at Unity College about an hour from Swans Island’s studio.  Unity is a progressive school where Environmental Science, Jackie’s major, is a particular focus.  Jackie stayed in Maine to become a midwife, and she and her husband Lee are raising three children here.  She is a hand spinner and knitter and this avocation led her to Swans Island, where she quickly learned our dyeing secrets and has become a great creative force in our process and growth. “Colors from nature blend, variegate and deliver a depth and glow that is impossible to achieve with acid dyes.  Natural dyeing blends my love of making things from scratch, fiber work and science.  In the dyehouse I use dyes derived from plants, roots and insects to yield a wide array of colors: cochineal and lac for reds, indigo for blues and weld and osage for yellows, to name a few.  The thrill and challenge of dyeing is creating a palate that is both original and classic.” — Jackie

Swans Island Company, Handcrafted in Maine USA Since 1992

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