I am a fiber artist living on a small island in Maine, where I spend probably too much time dyeing and experimenting with natural dyes. My specialty is indigo, which I have been doing for about a decade, with both yarns and fabrics.
During the year of the pandemic, however, I had a transformative experience. You see, to me, the word “dyeing” is such an oxymoron to the word “dying”. When I dye, I am in a creative state of excitement, very much alive, and almost adrenaline crazed. But, exactly as the pandemic hit, my dad suddenly passed away—a whiplash kind of effect, and something that so many of us have similarly experienced. I needed to switch gears, and I threw myself into a productive frenzy. I found that during lockdown I had to look close to home for my resources for dyes other than indigo. I scoured my kitchen, my pantry, pulling out anything that would remotely work as a natural dye: beets, spinach, frozen blueberries and strawberries, red grapes, onion skins, turmeric, tea, and I even scrounged a little maraschino cherry juice! Next, I dove into my stashes for available natural cloth and yarns. Ready to dip!
Voila! I went crazy—no limitation, no formulas, like a wild child. I found so much peace in this therapeutic activity, such satisfaction. It truly saved my sanity and gave me solace from grief. And the best thing about it, I did it all in my dad’s kitchen. We lived next door to each other and we loved cooking meals together daily. It was special to be able to walk into his home and feel recovery through creativity. Cheers to his maraschino cherries—he made a mean Manhattan!
Maine seasons with a reason. Where living and creating is easy, just as life should be.
Linda Perry has spent much of her life creating unique hand-crafted wearable art, distinctly apart from anything mass produced or made by machinery. She works quietly, taking inspiration from nature and the ever-changing skies and harbor waters surrounding her tiny studio on Davis Island. You can find her creations at Harbor Yarns.