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Courses - Spring 2024
Plant Sciences
Open Seats as of
02/24/2024 at 10:30 PM
The Quest for Color
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Credit only granted for: PLSC434 or HONR218R.
Formerly: HONR218R.
Finding sources of color in nature has motivated mindful inquiry and technical innovation across cultures. Yet, the quest for new colors has been both a result of and an excuse for colonization, appropriation of indigenous knowledge, and enslavement. When natural dyestuffs were largely replaced by synthetic dyes derived from coal tar in the late 1800s, color development posed new ecological and cultural challenges. In spite of these threats, practitioners worldwide have maintained their traditional methods without exploitation or petroleum products. This course integrates the history and chemistry of dye materials from plants and insects with hands-on practice in sustainable color creation. Students will hone the practical skills needed to source and process foraged dye materials, and apply them sustainably to fibers. Via this scientific process students will gain insight into the benefits of a naturally sourced approach to color and to life.