A Materials Exploration: The Cochineal Insect

August 12 - August 13, 2023

A Materials Exploration: The Cochineal Insect


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $425
Material Fee: $60

In this workshop, Maestro Porfirio Gutierrez will lead participants through a materials exploration of the cochineal insect. The Cochineal Insect is a small scale insect, known for its red pigment in ancient Indigenous Mexico. Participants will explore the alchemy of the cochineal insect as it lies at the intersection of ancient science and craft. The group will study how the color relates to PH levels and shifts accordingly, how to mordent and create various hues with the same pigment, and how to create secondary hues by over-dyeing. Maestro Porfirio always teaches from his spiritual understanding about the color red, nature and its relation to traditional medicine, healing, and ceremonies. He’ll expand on the sacred meanings of the color red used in his community’s precessions and traditions, his journey on revitalizing the ancestral Zapotec natural dyeing technique, and what history the insect holds. His workshops are for all skill-levels and are intentionally slow paced to ensure participants understand the culture behind the craft and build a strong foundation in their practice.

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day
Lunch is included for all participants

Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult



Maestro Porfirio Gutierrez

Porfirio Gutierrez is a California-based textile designer, artist, and natural dyer. He specializes in the weaving traditions of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. He comes from a long line of traditional Zapotec weavers, and his art practice remains dedicated to the deep knowledge and spiritual dimensions of his ancestors. He grew up immersed in color, surrounded by the wildness of Oaxaca’s mountains, and with knowledge of plants as medicine. His work marries indigenous knowledge and contemporary art, engaging a conversation around migration in a Native American context.

View Website

Other Workshops You Might Like

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.