Hi, I'm Sophie Kanter, owner of the bluest i.
Drawing color from the natural world around me is magical and exciting. Before the 1850's, all clothing was dyed with bark, leaves, berries, and even some small animals. People collected what they could find, dyeing their clothing in specific ways to communicate their identity. Using natural dyes cultivated a sense of place and informed others of one's location or status. Plants are powerful!
While there are many natural dyes available from all over the world, mostly in the form of powders or extracts, I'm far more interested in what's available around me. A majority of the dye plants I use are foraged from the local landscape. I enjoy paying attention to what plants are growing at different times of year. The color palette changes from one season to the next, making each color or pattern all the more special while it lasts.
I am inspired by nature, traditional crafts, and slow fashion. I began my journey with natural dyes in 2014. Through a desire for a new wardrobe free of visible stains, I dyed my own clothing at first. I expanded to anything I could get my hands on, exploring different types of fabrics and plants. The next year, I enriched myself in the textile community in the San Francisco Bay Area, learning from and being inspired by some truly amazing artists. I continued my art education by attending craft and folk schools around the country, focusing on indigo and natural dyes.
My current art practice focuses on using local and seasonal dye plants. With my practice has come a deeper understanding of sustainability. Each day I tune into plants a little bit more, especially aware of how the dye process is a continuation of the life cycle of the plant itself.
When I'm not dyeing, I'm taking pictures of flowers, cuddling with my family's dog, Taj Mahal, and staring at plants. I also love to get out into nature and do other crafts, especially with friends. I can't wait to share more with you!