The Dyer’s Polypore: A Video Tutorial

My Mom read my previous post and asked me with concern: how is your shoulder? I see her several times a week, so I reassured her that it was the same as it was the last time I saw her: improving.

I’m now in the “thawing” stage of frozen shoulder. Pain is (mostly) gone, and I’ve adapted my life to deal with the (very) limited range of motion. So, when my brother came to town last month with all his video equipment, I was finally able to commit to making another natural dye video – this time featuring my Mom. Honestly, it’s her dye video. She’s the star and I’m there to assist, just like when she’d teach a dye class and I was there to carry pots of water.

Teaching at SOMA Camp 2015

This video focuses on the Dyer’s Polypore: Phaelous schweintizi, the same mushroom I used in my previous post to create that incredible gold and orange (which I used in my Baltian Sweater). My Mom, who has close to 50 years of mushroom dye experience, goes over: how to ID this mushroom, where to find it, when to collect it (spoiler alert: they’re ready right now!) and then we demonstrate the basic dye process. I think it’s the perfect introduction mushroom for anyone new to dyeing.

And if you’d like to learn more about the history of mushroom dyes, please check out the International Mushroom Dye Institute (IMDI) at their recently updated website: mushroomsforcolor.com. A recent fire destroyed the inventory of mushroom dye books, Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments & Myco-Stix™ written by the late Miriam C. Rice and illustrated by my Mom, Dorothy Beebee. The proceeds from the book helped fund their travel grant program. They are asking for our help. Please see the website for more details.

2 Comments

  1. I believe that copies of the mushroom arts book are still available at “Fungi Perfecti”.
    There will be another printing in 2022.

  2. That’s correct! We are so thankful to the wonderful response we’re received. I understand some copies of the book are still available at Fungi Perfecti. And yes, we will be able to do another printing in 2022!

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