dyeScape? .... Yes, dyeScape, Anchal's newest project! Throughout the week, we at Anchal will be presenting a mini-series on dyeScape. From a look at what the project is to addressing the current textile culture and finally a look at what this project means for the future, in Louisville, other cities & for Anchal's artisans.
To begin - Part I -
What is dyeScape?
Let's go back to the beginning of the dyeScape story, to it where it all started - the Louisville Metro Government's 'LOTS of Possibility' competition. Designed to revitalize many of Louisville's vacant lots & jumpstart several depressed neighborhoods, Anchal's own Colleen & Maggie Clines + Urban Planner Louis Johnson got to work. They developed a proposal that would do more than just develop a singular plot of land - it would draw in the Portland neighborhood & revitalize a vacant lot & potentially have worldwide impact. In May, the dyeScape won 'LOTS of Possibility'! The Louisville Metro Government awarded the dyeScape proposal 3 parcels of land and the funds to jumpstart the project.
"Louisville's urban dyeScape is a network of small-scale gardens that support the cultivation of dye plants for the purpose of natural textile production. dyeScape provides an income stream for participants, enhances ecological balance, strengthens the local economy, and educates the community about sustainable textile practices."
The initial site at Portland Avenue & North 17th Street, will act as the dyeScape network's nucleus, where a demonstration dye garden will display the potential of plants to provide natural color to fibers. The other features of this site include raised planter beds, storage shed, water spigot, and a pergola that will serve as an outdoor classroom and space for drying material.
How does it work, you may ask?
In coordination with Louisville Grows & Urban Growers Cooperative, the dyeScape project is modeled after a community garden cooperative program.
a. Members of the dyeScape cooperative would pay a reduced rate membership fee, this would fund their basic materials needs. Growers would be provided a plot, initial plant seeds & access to water.
b. Educational training would be offered to inform the growers of planting tips and harvesting & processing techniques.
c. Once the crop has grown, the members would then harvest and process the crop to sell at the wholesale price to dyeScape/Anchal Project. The dyeScape project will also provide public educational workshops that will be made available to all of the Louisville community.
The dyeScape is not intended to be an isolated project. It is designed to be replicated. The nucleus dyeScape is the first step, a model, of what could be in various lots around Louisville, other cities & around the world.
Stay tuned until tomorrow, find out about the harmful practices of manufactured dyes & how dyeScape is addressing issues in worldwide textile production & re-engaging the community of Portland.
For more information head to dyeScape's website, Facebook page & Twitter feed + stay tuned to Anchal's blog for more of our dyeScape series.