Art has been a part of life for as long as Sharlene Bohr can remember. Drawn to several media, her connection to textiles began with her mother and their mutual fondness for quilting. An award-winning self-taught fiber artist, Sharlene creates one-of-a kind naturally dyed, functional and decorative textiles, using a technique she first discovered while living in Los Angeles, CA.
Eco-printing is a technique where plants, leaves and flowers leave their shapes, color, and marks on fabric. Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind. Sharlene places every leaf by hand (or, sometimes, tweezer), creating a pleasing pattern and color palette. Then, the fabric, with the plant material inside, is tightly rolled around a pipe or stick. The 'bundles' are tossed into a steamer or a pot of water. Heat releases the dye out of the plant, coloring the fabric next to the leaf. The colors are revealed as the plant material is lifted off the unwrapped fabric.
“I like to combine eco-printing with traditional natural dye methods, which I employ to dye the background. Sometimes I print the leaves first and then dye the background. Other times, I dye the background and then print the leaves. I like to create variations in color by changing water source, adjusting pH, or switching the kind of pipe I use.”
Sharlene now resides in Cresco, IA. In her studio there, you’ll find her wrapping fabric around pipes and sticks, letting the beauty found in nature color her world.
You’ll find Sharlene on Instagram and Facebook as well!