Botanical dyer creates colors from nature

By Inga Foley | November 6, 2023


Working out of the Spring Creek Art Works, housed in a historic old auto dealership in Lodi, Kipp Inglis dyes fabrics, creating color from nature. She displays her wares at art shows around Wisconsin. She also is a teacher, sharing her craft with others young and old. She loves to connect and foster creativity in others through her classes. 

 Kipp found botanic dyeing after dyeing with chemicals for years. She has been fascinated by the wide options of colors. “I was introduced to dyes, made from plants and actually walked out into a Prairie out in Iowa and picked plants and then made dye with it.”

It’s a challenging craft as the plants produce colors differently, depending on the weather during the season and even the water that is used for the dyeing process. Kipp says “I’m just the facilitator mother nature is in charge of all of this. I just kind of bring it to the light.”

 Layering these different dyes helps her to create a wide range of colors and effects. Working with madder root, cochineal from the cochineal bug, weld a fast-growing weed,  indigo, and golden rod.

 “I’m a process person. So learning, continuing to learn, learning to develop my own best practices for working in the studio for teaching people how to do this, and color I’m, I’m just a color freak. I like color.”

 Kipp also emphasizes reusing and not throwing garments away. Using a Japanese Boro technique, she stitches, re-uses fabrics, and embellishes garments and bags. She says, “That to me has been very important to focus a lot on that sustainability.”

 Sharing her knowledge with others through classes helps her to learn as well through the experimentation of her pupils she sees new artists in the making. ‘I don’t consider myself a very good artist but a lot of my students have become very, very good artists and that to me just keeps me going,” Kipp says.


Inga Foley

Inga Foley

Inga Foley is a video editor for the “Wisconsin Life” project and enjoys bike riding, gardening and working on her old VW.
2023-11-06T12:15:34-06:00Tags: , , |

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