Art Speaks: Dyeing for Spinners and Felters with Nicole Frost

Monday, March 18, 2024 at 12 pm CST • Virtual, on Zoom

In March 2024, Nicole Frost shared highlights from her journey into the wonderfully complex world of dyeing protein (wool!) and cellulose (cotton! bamboo!) fibers. She also discussed her teaching philosophy and general approach to working with dyes to create a comprehensive range of colors and tonal effects.

Participants got a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of her forthcoming dye book and video masterclass as well as a sneak peak at what students will go home with from The DNA of Dyeing Guest Teaching Artist workshop at Textile Center from April 23 – 27, 2024.

Artist Bio:

Nicole Frost (she/her) created Frost Yarn in her Father’s studio kitchen in 2008 with fisherman’s wool and food coloring. She was out of work in a recession and had learned to knit while she finished a degree to “wait out the joblessness.” Little did she know this was going to be her job and passion for the next 15 years! Nicole had a vision of vivid colors, ethereal cloudlike nebulas, crystals, opals and iridescent rainbows for her projects. But no such yarn existed. When she set out to create these colors, she was completely oblivious to the thousands of hours of research and development she was embarking on.

Nicole dyed yarn like a woman shipwrecked. She spent time knitting or spinning in her college classes during lectures, reading books on the history of sheep breeding, writing research papers on the history of knitting, spinning and weaving, and learning dye chemistry the hard way. Nicole’s goal for the last 15 years of teaching has been to demystify the ancient art of hand processed textiles, be it the chemistry of dyeing, the art of combining fibers on a drum carder, hand spinning or dyeing for a specific pattern. She has found a way to condense thousands of hours of research and development into short format workshops that cover all of the fundamentals with an excellent reference package that sets students up for success.

Nicole believes that nobody should have to felt as many fleeces, fry as many skeins, and pollute as many kitchen appliances as she has to acquire this knowledge. Skip the frustration, leap frog the failures, and head straight to dyeing success!

View the recording of the Art Speaks here: