We’re pleased to share this latest written interview, introducing Jeanine Ertl, the creative mind behind our Natural Dyes Collection. Enjoy learning more about her creative beginnings and her unique journey as a maker. We hope you are inspired as we are!
Tell us a little about yourself—what got you into making? What made you decide to start your own business?
Hi there! My name is Jeanine and I’m a creative person who spent much of my life using my left brain to analyze, interpret, document and write. When I had children, our family began its journey with the parks system in California, gratefully allowing us to live in more remote natural spaces of this diverse state. During this time, my urge to explore my creative yearnings grew and I explored quite a few mediums. However, it wasn’t until I tried weaving that I found a craft that fulfilled me on a magnetizing level. I hated learning to warp the loom. Learning to set and balance and what fibers to use for different outcomes led to quite a few project disasters as well. And yet, something in me loved weaving and felt bound to continue learning and growing with it.
A few years into weaving, I decided to take a natural dye class on a whim and found myself equally enthralled. After much exploration and experimentation, I decided to begin a small business to sell my wares, which has led me on a beautifully winding path of colorful, textural, and fun connections.
Do you feel you have a particular style in your designs? How would you describe them?
I don’t have a particular style, however the things that I love to look at and surround myself with definitely influence what I’m making in the moment. I love to work with repurposed fibers/fabrics or a mixture, as well as natural dyes to create unpretentious, earthy textiles. After exploring the gamut of patterns, I led myself right back to what I’m attracted to – modern, simple, nature-inspired.
Tell us a little about your creative process—where do your ideas come from?
Most often, my inspiration comes from nature and its organic, earthy designs. Most anything that catches my eye leads me to ask “what about that is interesting?” And, I love to create in sporadic, in-the-flow moments.
Do you have a favorite kind of material to work with? What do you like most about working with this material?
When talking about natural dyes, you’re always applying color to a surface, a textile. Some of my favorite fibers to dye are linen and vintage cotton, as they both express color in an almost patina-esque way. I also love to dye wool and silk, because both absorb color with such ferocity that it’s satisfying to tend to.
Is there a craft that interests you that you haven’t tried yet?
I am convinced that, as a weaver, pianist and overall repetition-lover, I will adore trying my hand at spinning one day.
Is there anything else you would like to say about creating the Natural Dyes Collection?
As a weaver and dyer, I was so excited when Twig & Horn reached out to collaborate. This collection includes my all-time favorite natural dyes. Each is expansive and many are adjustable with the use of pH adjusters and additional mordants. Some dyes offer energetic, bright and bold hues while others share the gift of earthy muted tones, creating a spectrum of opportunity for the maker. May each bring colorful joy to your own creative process.