Here’s a complete list of the workshops that will be offered at the Symposium. At the time of registration, participants selected their preferred workshops in order of priority. Traditionally, Symposium registrants learn of their workshop allocations when they arrive at the event, but we can say that everyone will be assigned to their first choice, and more than likely their second choice, too.

Daily Mushroom Dyepots


Discover the colours available from our West Coast fungi and learn the techniques of mushroom dyeing. Every registrant will go home with samples of all the colours obtained during the week, and a “potluck” session will be open on Saturday for those who want to dye their own fibre in the exhaust baths.

Basic Mushroom ID
Beginning mushroom enthusiasts will spend some time in a classroom, learning what to look for when identifying mushrooms. This will be followed by a forest foray, where they can find and identify West Coast fungi. Full day.
Instructor: Dr John Field

Survival Skills

Brian Lee_1

In this full-day outdoor workshop, the class will construct a basic shelter from materials found in the forest and learn the essentials of survival in the wilderness.
Instructor: Brian “Bushman” Lee

Drop Spindling
Learn to spin with the old tradition of drop spindling in this half-day workshop.
Instructor: Doreen MacLauchlan

Nuno Felting
You’ll leave this full-day workshop with a silk scarf on which you’ve felted mushroom-dyed fibre with your own artistic design.
Instructor: Ursula Bentz

Cedar Baskets

920439_522527967804144_954287228_o - Copy

Learn about the ancient First Nations tradition of weaving with bark from our Western red cedar. This full-day workshop will combine the basics of Coast Salish cedar-bark weaving with design elements of colour, texture and twined X’s. You will leave with your own small round or square basket.
Instructor: Jessica Silvey

Turkeytail Jewellery
Trametes versicolor grows in abundance in our rainforest. In this half-day workshop you’ll use these little polypores to make unique jewellery.
Instructor: Kerri Luciani

Eco-printing with Mushroom Dust
Some of our dye fungi have such strong pigments that their “dust” can be used to print designs on fabric. You’ll use this design element to create a unique silk scarf in this half-day workshop.
Instructor: Caitlinn ffrench

Chemistry of Mushroom Pigments
The main topic of the workshop is to demonstrate the use of simple available chemical tools to optimize the procedures of mordanting and dyeing to control the colour and washing fastness.
1. Environmentally friendly use of mordants.
2. Easy measuring of bath temperature and pH.
3. Control of dyebath pH by addition of acids and bases.
4. Wash-fastness of dyed textiles.
5. Fluorescense of mushroom pigments in UV light.
Half-day workshop.
Instructor: Preben Sørensen

Stab a Mushroom to Life (Needle Felting)

P1010753 - Copy

Get a taste of the technique of needle felting. Transform soft, airy wool fibres into a curious mythical mushroom—so satisfying for its immediacy. No experience necessary. Half-day workshop
Instructor: Donna Goulette

Exploring Lichen Dyes
Lichens contain some of the most brilliant and magical dyes found in nature. Learn about lichen identification and the process of extracting colour from them in this half-day workshop.
Instructor: Alissa Allen

17 thoughts on “Workshops

  1. Hi,
    just want to sign me up to the Nuno Felting workshop.
    I’m eagerly waiting to get more info about costs and so on. Hope that I can make it there …
    Monica Svensson, Sweden


  2. Hi, Monica

    So glad to hear you’re planning on coming over! We’re not taking registrations ahead of time, but if you register as soon as you can – starting March 1 – you should have no trouble getting into the workshop. Ursula Bentz is a very creative felter, and you’ll enjoy her workshop.

    Hope to see you in October,


  3. On registration, everyone will have a chance to choose their preferred workshop options, and we’ll do our best to give everyone their top choices. We aren’t making a schedule ahead of time because we expect some of the workshops will be in high demand, in which case we will schedule more than one. For this reason, it will be to your advantage to register early!


  4. So excited!!! This will be my first symposium. I’ve been dabbling in mushroom and lichen dyes here in northern Minnesota for about 20 years, but it has all been in isolation. I’m really looking forward to picking other people’s brains for ideas and seeing other people’s work.


  5. This is the conference you’ve been waiting for, then! You’ll pick up so much information and leave even more inspired to create with mushroom colours. And you’ll want to do whatever you can to attend the next one in 2018, wherever that might be (the next host country will be announced at the final dinner on the Saturday evening). Looking forward to meeting you in October!


  6. We’ll be using the spore layer of older Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer’s Polypore). It sloughs off when the fungus gets dry and dark brown, and when I found a layer of these crumbs in the bottom of a bag, I wondered if it would still contain pigment – and it does. Our instructor is a fun, creative young woman, so it’s sure to be a fun, creative workshop. Hope to see you here in October!


  7. Hi, SO much looking forward to visit your Canada 🙂 and see Your forests !
    Can I please ask – will the forays be scheduled at the same time as the workshops? (all starting in the morning?). Or will it be possible to attend both a foray & a workshop the same day?
    Kind Regards /Lena in France


  8. Hi, Lena. We are scheduling one foray for each of the four workshop days of the Symposium, Tuesday through Friday, and each foray will go into the afternoon, so you won’t have time to attend a workshop on that day, but you will be able to drop in on some of the afternoon workshops after you get back, and see what they’re doing. That will leave three full days for other workshops and dyepot sessions – you’ll have a chance to let us know your preferences, and we’ll do everything we can to give you your choices. (Of course, your chances are better if you register early!)


  9. Hi, Johanna

    This isn’t the sort of event that sells fleece and roving. We’ll have a small shop area where registrants bring items they’ve made with mushroom colours, handpainted greeting cards, dried mushrooms, that sort of thing. Most of our people will be flying here and will be able to take home only smaller items.

    I know someone who purchased some of your Shetland fibre and is very happy with it. Do you sell roving by the pound? And I assume you know about the Sunshine Coast Fibreshed. They’re doing a great job of connecting fibre producers with people who want local fibre, and a good contact to make.


  10. We provide all the yarn for the daily dyepots, but there will be an open dyeing session Saturday morning. If you want to take part in that, you’ll need to bring your own mordanted fibre (silk scarves work well too).


  11. Hello!
    My husband and I have been watching your website for a few years. This year is the first year we’ll be able to make it to the coast in October, so, just wondering if there will be a festival this autumn, 2017?
    Many thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s