Museum collaboration

by | Mar 6, 2017

Where do you go when you want to learn how to explain ikat to the public? how to develop a color palette in natural dyes? Why, to the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, of course. And so it was that Chelsea Shannon from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston joined CHH member Rene Derewetsky et al. at Rene’s home for an all day session of natural dyeing. Using black walnuts, indigo, cochineal, marigolds and madder; Rene and her crew dyed more than two dozen different colors on wool and silk. The skeins were mordanted with alum and colors were tweaked by overdyeing, by changing pH and by using iron as an afterbath. The awesome results, pictured, will be on display at the MFAH on their “Discovery Cart” used by their docents.

Thanks to Rene, Connie Elliott and Barb Andes for their work with the museum. A nice check was received from the museum in thanks for their work.

For more on the exhibit, opening March 12, 2017, go to

Connie Elliott will be demonstrating Ikat weaving at the museum the week of Spring Break – starting on March 13th. If you’d like to help her, contact her at