The Sweet Side: More Methods of Making Plant Medicine

with Rachel Burgos of Snakeroot Apothecary

Saturday, May 19th 11a - 2p

$75 + $15 materials

Join clinical herbalist, Rachel Burgos of Snakeroot Apothecary, for a day of plant medicine making with a focus on infused honey. In this class we will discuss and make various forms of herbal preparations using different menstruum and materials. Class will begin with a nature walk around the Topanga Canyon chaparral as we explore, connect, and harvest herbs for our medicinal preparations. We will talk a bit as to how and when to harvest herbs respectfully, how to process and dry, and different medicines to make with them.

The powerful sweetness of honey in particular will be spotlighted as a magical food and ingredient. We will discuss the history of honey as a remedy both physically and spiritually. Honey will be used to make multiple forms of delicious plant extractions as it adds both sweetness and concentrated floral essences.

An open heart, balance, and a relaxed spirit is important in medicine making. Not only will we be preparing herbal remedies, we will also first prepare ourselves to make the medicine. Medicine making is a ceremony, and we will integrate honor and connection with these plant spirits through these practices.

Participants will gain knowledge and confidence about basic medicine making skills, and alternatives to alcohol based tinctures. Each participant will leave with an oxymel, infused honey, and elderberry syrup. Please bring materials fee to class.

This class is hands on so remember to wear something you don't mind perhaps getting dirty.


Local Foraging & Natural Dyeing

with Liz Spencer “The Dogwood Dyer”

Sunday, June 10th

10 am - 2 pm

$100 + $20 materials

The 3rd Annual LOCAL COLOR is back! Get to know the colorful bounty of Topanga Canyon by working with fresh plants foraged from and grown in the nearby ecosystem with The Dogwood Dyer's Liz Spencer. Natural dyeing can be fun, but the experience of using seasonal & regionally relevant plants as opposed to pre-extracted and imported powders provides a real connection to this age old process.

Class will start with a nature walk led by resident ceramist and knowledgeable botanist Kirsty Iredale where we will explore the flaura of Topanga Canyon, identify plants and collect plants responsibly for the dyepot. After this winter's rains, we expect a very lush spring!

Students will come away with an understanding of natural dyeing with fresh raw dye stuffs, including the variance of color results from working with different parts of the plant, collected at different times of the harvest season as well as hue and depth change when extracting with hot vs. cold water. Liz will demonstrate her favorite surface design techniques including japanese stitched Shibori, Arashi and Itajime.

No previous dyeing knowledge necessary. Each participant will leave with a folio palette of regional color swatches in various sustainable fibers, a finished 35 x 35" silk scarf dyed with local color as well as informational handouts on how to repeat the process at home with local plants.

Please bring $20 materials fee to class.

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Painting with Natural Dyes

co-taught by Liz Spencer “The Dogwood Dyer" and Ivana Oro

Sunday, June 24th


$90 + $15 Materials

Using only nature's bounty you will gain knowledge and experiment with the time honored art of natural dyeing with Liz Spencer of he Dogwood Dyer and Ivana Oro of Savia de Oro.

Using locally foraged plants, organic homegrown dyestuff, atural extracts and some extra special local cochineal from the property at Wild Mesa, you will gain knowledge and experiment with the direct application of natural aint onto cloth. The dogwood dyer will demonstrate the proper methods for achieving wash and light fast results with natural dyes and share her tips and secrets for advanced techniques using natural thickeners and resists, outlining the whole process from plant to painted composition.

Visiting Spanish artist and maker Ivana Oro will be educating on the importance of sustainable cochineal and the traditional culture around growing this very special color rich insect native to her home in the Canary Island (we can also find cochineal on the Wild Mesa property).

Most everyone has had to donate or downcycle garments or linens due o everyday wear, spills, accidents and laundry mishaps. Following the dye techniques from this class, you can mask unsightly stains using the coloring power of plants minerals and insect. No prior knowledge on textiles or dyes is required. Participants will leave with their own original painting compositions on various natural material, as well as informational handouts outlining natural dye painting techniques and recipes to recreate this beautiful art at home.


Ceramics with Kirsty Iredale

(Ongoing - Various Pricing)

On the Wild Mesa Topanga land is Kirsty Iredale's pottery studio.  Whether you are a beginner or are looking to dig deeper into what you already know, or whether you would like an individual mentorship or an afternoon party activity, Kirsty caters to you.  Explore your options HERE.