Newsletter #1 from FRANCE ~ by Lena Larsen

This report from France is short I´m afraid, due to the fact that I don´t know any passionate French dyers. My own activities have been limited because of my back problem but I did find a Phaeolus schweinitzii in October that I have started to experiment with. It was an earlier discussion with Carla Sundström that gave me the idea for this experiment.

I parted and weighed the fresh mushroom in 4 equal parts.

Part 1 was cooked fresh and dyed with and then without mushrooms remaining in the dye bath.

Part 2 was dried.

Part 3 was put in the freezer in its raw state.

Part 4 was cooked and the strained dye bath was put in the freezer (I did freeze the mushrooms that was strained off as well, to be able to compare results from dyeing with frozen dye bath both with mushrooms and without).

I will bring the result of my experiment to our next meeting in Spain. Has anyone else done this experiment already perhaps ??

At the end of April there will be an International Symposium for Natural Dyers in France, in La Rochelle. It is actually quite close to where I live but due to my back problem and the high cost I am not participating. But I hope to go there the very last day because then they have an Open house for the public. I believe that some of our Spanish friends will attend so maybe we will get a report from that event from them.Finally I would like to tell you about a French acquaintance of mine, a photographer/mycologist named Benoit Peyre. The photos in his books and on his cards/posters are simply wonderful !!! I tried to get him to attend our Symposium in Sweden but unfortunately that was not possible for him; perhaps I will be luckier in bringing him along to Spain?

I am not a good photographer but I have one photo just to show you what was the most common species in my forest this autumn 2010. I don´t think you can dye with them but they taste great ! Warm regards from France and I look forward to see everybody in Spain!