When my husband and I knew we’d be moving to BC’s Sunshine Coast and building a home in the middle of a rainforest, I decided it was time to learn about mushrooms – like so many people, I’d been conditioned to just stay away from fungi because they were so deadly. So I took some courses and obtained some reliable reference books, and now I look forward to each year’s rainy season and the fascinating wonders it brings.
Somewhere along the way, I heard about the International Fungi & Fibre Symposium. When I learned it would be held in Mendocino, California, in January of 2008, I knew I had to go. And I’m so glad I did: not only did I spend a week surrounded by people who were just as crazy about mushroom dyeing as I was, I learned more about the whole subject than I ever thought possible. Autumn is now a time for searching, gathering, and experimenting, and I’m getting some wondrous results (you might even say I’m obsessed. I’ll share what I’m learning through this blog.
Living in a temperate rainforest means that mushroom season—September through November, generally—delivers a bounty of fungi, many of them capable of giving colour. So it was only a matter of time before the Fungi & Fibre Symposium came to the Sunshine Coast; we made it happen in the fall of 2016 (“we” being members of the Sunshine Coast Spinners & Weavers Guild and the Sunshine Coast SHROOM, a local mushroom club that has since ceased its existence). This was a fabulous event, and mushroom dyers from many parts of the world were able to explore our own mushroom paradise while again enjoying great camaraderie.
Mushroom dyeing is a passion, combining the best of both worlds: fibre arts and fungi.