Cara Marie Piazza speaks our language! Using exclusively plant ingredients this talented dye artist is rethinking the textile industry. Read on to learn how she transforms ingredients destined for landfill into exquisite works of art.
Walk us through the process of creating your beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces.
My process is dictated usually by the color or the pattern the client wants. We either start with a specific dyestuff they are interested in using and craft a recipe around the ingredient, or we work backwards from their inspirations to dissect and figure out the procedure needed to create the print. When making work for myself, my process is very intuitive, like folk cooking. I steep the different dyestuffs, eking out the colors and treat each session like play.
How do you hope to impact your community?
I hope to help people find and reconnect to their inner creativeness through plants. The alchemy of making color is both healing and fun. Plants provide us a multitude of gifts whether it be shelter, food, medicine or art. Natural dyes are a medium like paint, except when working with the dyestuffs you also get the added benefits of the medicine the plants give you as if through osmosis. The act of experimental ( yet respectful) play is healing, so I hope to help people cultivate the confidence to make without the act of needing an audience.
What is a current project you are working on?
We have many going on at all times, but I am very excited to start our extensive “DYEbrary” The project, in collaboration with Botanical Colors, will be a natural dye swatch resource. I will also have some new classes for the holidays available soon.
What are your aspirations for the company within the garment industry?
I hope to be a bridge between the garment, food and floral industries. Natural dyes sit at an important intersection as we create dyes for the garment industry from the wastes of the others. I worry about blindly using the buzz word “circular”, as it has been floated around without any real critical lens, but I think that by creating logistical solutions to industrial and urban waste streams, i.e. collecting avocado pits and peels, or flower trash post city based events, we can start to reimagine what goes into to landfill and what can be intercepted and used as a resource.