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One Day Workshops in Natural Dyeing

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My name is Gasali Onireke Adeyemo. I am the third born of five from a small rural village, Ofatedo, located in Osun State Nigeria. My mother is a trader and my father, a farmer. Although my family was rich in spirit and culture, we were poor in capital and I sponsored my own education throughout my years at St. George Elementary and Ido Osun High School.

From a Very young age, I realized my artistic potential and I would attend social gatherings, such as weddings, naming and burial ceremonies, and other cultural parties offering to sketch portraits of the guest, for a small donation. My sketching career combined with long, hard days working on the village farms provided adequate income to successfully complete my academic education through high school.

At this point, my attention turned to improving upon my artistic potential. I discovered the Nike Center for Arts and Culture in 1990, where I remained for a total of six years. The first two years of my experience at the Nike Center was spent mastering the arts of batik painting on fabric, indigo dyeing, quilt making, embroidery, appliqué, and batik painting on rice paper. During the following four years, I spent long days teaching these skills to incoming students at the Nike Center.

Eventually, the popularity of the Nike Center grew and hundreds of people came to Osogbo, Nigeria from all over the world to study and enrich their knowledge and understanding of the arts and culture of the Yoruba people. I spent much of my time conducting workshops and training these people in the crafts of my culture.

In 1995, my long years of service and dedication to the Nike Center paid off, and my artwork was exhibited in Bayreuth, Germany alongside the work of five other artists from Nigeria. My work made quite an impact, and many people traveled to Osogbo looking for the artist named Gasali. People who were exposed to my work later commissioned me to do quilt work and other pieces and my artistic career truly began to bloom.

In 1996, the opportunity arose to travel outside of Nigeria for the first time in my life. A woman named Karen came to Osogbo, Nigeria through an exchange program from America. We met and did workshops together. Impressed with my work, she invited me to come to the University of Iowa to do a series of exhibitions and workshops. Once there, the Octagon Gallery in Ames, Iowa took notice of my work and offered to exhibit it. I was also invited to work with a group of teenagers doing storytelling and art workshops to share with them the traditions of my own Yoruba culture.

These experiences in Iowa opened the door to greater opportunities. I have traveled the world conducting more workshops and exhibitions. My recent workshops include the World Batik Conference, Cross Culture Collaborative Inc., SnowFarm, and Fiber Arts Center. In the future, I plan to continue to travel worldwide, sharing the arts and culture of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. I currently reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sandra Brownlee

Sandra Brownlee is an artist based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where she pursues her ongoing interests in weaving, tactile notebook keeping, and teaching.

She has exhibited her work extensively throughout North America in both solo and group exhibitions since the late 1970’s. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, GGVMA Award exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, and Innovators and Legends, Generations in Textiles and Fibers, organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art.

Sandra Brownlee has earned her MFA in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has received numerous awards including the 2014 Governor General Visual and Media Arts Saidye Bronfman Award, a Canada Council B Grant, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.


Nancy Zeller of Long Ridge Farm is celebrating fifteen years of raising sheep and particularly the most rare and endangered CVM/Romeldale. Long Ridge Farm has won numerous prize ribbons for raw fleeces, is recognized nationally for their involvement with CVM/Romeldales. Nancy received a BA in Art from UNH at Keene, NH and has been immersed in natural dyeing since 2005. In 2007 she studied Khiva traditional crafts, in partnership with artisans of Khiva, Uzbekistan and American artisan mentors, focusing on natural dyeing. Nancy studied in France in 2010 with Denise Lambert, owner of Bleu de Pastel de Lectoure, and Michel Garcia, founder of Couleur Garance and of the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants. Nancy has also studied with Michele Wipplinger, owner of Earthues, Seattle, WA, Gasali Adeyemo, Nigerian Indigo and Adire Master. In April 2011 she attended ISEND 2011, the International Symposium and Exposition on Natural Dyes in La Rochelle, France. In 2012 Nancy traveled to Australia to study with India Flint. In June 2013 she traveled to Rwanda, Africa, on a humanitarian project, to assist a group of 35 Rwandan woman expand their color line of handspun, naturally dyed yarns. In May 2015 she returned to Rwanda to continue work under Rwanda~one4one. In 2015 Nancy will be working on a dye plant research project through INES-Ruhengeri University, Rwanda. You can read more about Nancy’s work in Rwanda under the Rwanda tab above. Long Ridge Farm is host to natural dyeing workshops with internationally known artists each summer. Nancy teaches natural dyeing by request throughout the country and at Long Ridge Farm, produces and naturally dyes her own line of fibers and textiles, has custom dyed for Green Mountain Spinnery and other individual requests. You can visit Nancy at shows (See Events tab) or by visiting her studio at Long Ridge Farm.

Fabulous instructors that have taught at the farm across the years:

Michele Wipplinger

India Flint

Joan Morris

Velma Bolyard

Dorothy Caldwell

Michel Garcia

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