Rose Wirtz uses natural dyes to paint on paper and to hand dye wool, cotton, silk, linen, and raffia for her fiber art. She uses flowers, bark, mushrooms, black walnuts, onion skins, indigo, cochineal and minerals to make the natural dyes. She explains, “The organic materials are simmered down and coaxed over days or weeks into a palette of color that feels alive. Each dye has its own unique personality and characteristic of color. When painting on paper, some of the dyes are opaque, some translucent, making each painting session unique”. For her fiber art pieces, she chooses each fiber for it’s color and texture, and hand hooks them into linen backing. The subject of her paintings and the designs of her fiber art are inspired from time she spends drawing and contemplating in nature.
Rose received her BFA from Parson School of Design, NY and Paris. She has been working with natural dyes since 1996 and has taken intensive workshops across the country with many dye masters. Rose traveled into the depths of Venezuela to study the traditional natural dyes and basketry of the YeʼKwanas. She lives on Johns Island, SC, where several dye plants grow wild in her yard.