Our flower person this week is Cara Piazza, the natural dye artist, teacher, artisan and Shibori master! Cara works with natural, non-toxic materials to create unique textiles and even offers workshops so designers can learn from her experience. In this interview you'll get to know Cara's daily writing ritual, her puppy Theodore and an exciting new release she is working on!
Cara, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
I am a Natural Dyer and artisan working in New York City.
I create one of a kind textiles only using natural dye stuffs such as botanicals, plant matter, minerals, non-toxic metals and food wastes. I work through alchemical dye sessions, ancient shibori techniques and bundle dyeing, transforming each textile into its very own story, and I work with both designers and artists to realize their Natural dyeing needs as well as creating custom pieces for private clients.
I teach workshops on natural dyeing and curates unique experiences merging healing, color and art.
Your work is stunning. Where are you from and where do you call home now?
I am from New York City, and I still call it my home.
So, where did your love for flowers come from or what first drew you to flowers?
I’ve always inherently been drawn to flowers and all plant matter. My grandmother was a gardener , she used to let me water all of her plants. Those were some of my happiest memories.
How lovely! What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on releasing my first Botanical Dye Kit. I wanted to make an offering that provided you with the tools to create and make with natural plant matter in the warmth of your own home. I am also working on a personal project , or exploration with The Or Is Present. I am creating a piece with a bale of tee shirts from the second hand markets in Accra Ghana. With this piece I want to explore cross - cultural value systems, how value is derived by adding plant matter, and how to contextualize what the west deems as ‘waste’.
That is some exciting news! What are some inspiring words you love and live by?
Take your work seriously, not yourself.
What’s a daily ritual that’s made an impact in your life?
I try to write three pages consistently every day, sometimes that looks like free associating, doodling, or drawing but some form of asemic writing and mark making every day helps me get all my ideas out. I also try to meditate for at least 20 minutes.
That sounds relaxing--I have to try it. What are you drinking and eating currently?
Currently I am drinking a lot of nettle and butterfly pea tea. Eating a lot of pizza, haha, it’s been my covid treat.
Speaking of treats--what brings you pure joy?
Flowers! They can bring me to tears. I’m someone that cries at a flower…
No shame in that! Who is someone that had the most impact in your life for the better?
My puppy, this might be a wild answer, but seriously Theodore has changed my life.
And last question--where do you find inspiration or what have you found super inspiring lately?
I think it’s important to draw inspiration from outside your own craft, you work with your peers through osmosis so I find it important to soak up what inspires you, like a sponge, from your surroundings. I walk mainly when I am feeling juicy. My feet often lead me into an off the beaten path bookstore, community garden, old nyc shop. As a textile designer , and one that works with nature, it’s how nature finds its ways through the cracks in the sidewalk, phototropism that really catches my eye.
Quick fire Q’s
- Favorite affirmation? You’re okay.
- Favorite book? Braiding Sweetgrass
- Favorite food to cook? Raffetto's Pasta.
- Favorite city? That’s easy , NYC.
- Favorite movie? The Color of Pomegranates
- What is one advice you would tell your “younger self”? Boundaries are cool.
If you would like to learn more about, or connect with Lauren, follow the links below: