Natural Patterns and Pigments: Mindfully forage colors for dyeing, printing and painting using natural materials from the local region.

Natural pigments dwell within our ordinary, everyday lives, as well as geology and plant life, and hold vast potential for creativity.

With Katama Murray, Teach Peace Prints

Portrait of shell pallets, painted paper, brushes, and naturally foraged leaves, seeds, and nutsWelcome to the wonderful world of natural color! Immerse yourself in the coastal landscape of Penobscot Bay through flora, minerals, and natural materials during this hands-on retreat at Fiber College of Maine. Dive into the interconnected realm of making with colors from nature with artist and educator Katama Murray of Teach Peace Prints.

Natural pigments dwell within ordinary, everyday objects (such as kitchen waste), as well as geology and plant life, and hold vast potential for creativity. Shades of pigments vary depending on location, the time of year, process utilized, and materials employed. During this retreat, students will learn a set of skills to sustainably forage, coax, dye, paint, write, and print with organic pigments from the campground and local region. Multiple printmaking and fiber art methods will be introduced and experienced throughout the class, all of which are centered around place-based inspiration with respect for the Earth. Students will engage in meditative making and be encouraged to settle into stillness while surrounded by the beauty of the area.

Natural dyeing is an ancient textile process that has been practiced for thousands of years around the world and across diverse cultures. The basics of mordanting (pretreatment) for natural dyeing will jumpstart the class into the exciting variety of techniques to utilize botanical and mineral colors. After an introduction to this process, students will recycle materials by creating concentrated lake pigments, inks, and a seasonally inspired watercolor palette to create with on the go. Time will be allotted for outdoor exploration and contemplation, integrating opportunities to further connect to the space and practice creative writing amongst the wonders of Searsport Shores. Participants will learn techniques for mordant/oxide printing onto their dyed fabrics and paper using everyday objects that hold visual intrigue.

Using the paints, printing surfaces, and dyes created and foraged throughout this workshop, students will create an assortment of samples, experiments, garments, and tools for making to archive the experience. Students will stitch and fold handmade books to record and hold their samples, as well as integrate natural elements and inspiration into their book forms. These different book art techniques will allow further exploration with the materials at hand, and will encapsulate the time and place through this collaboration with nature. Join us to create beautiful, one of a kind pieces that can be admired forever, while taking time to slow down and appreciate the richness and diversity of color dwelling along side us throughout every season.

Class and Retreat Fee: $980.00

Materials fee: $65 (to be paid at the start of class)

For more information on accommodation options, click here.

To see the other workshop offerings, click here.

Picture of Katama Murray

Katama Murray (she/her) is an eco artist, educator, naturalist, and business owner from Blue Hill, Maine and Cape Cod, MA. Her mixed media work and company, Teach Peace Prints, are inspired by place-based making and our interconnectedness to the environment. Living and studying throughout regions of New England and the Midwest, she has always been influenced by the outdoors and the ways in which we coexist with the natural world. Utilizing locally foraged natural materials, she layers print and fiber processes to visually communicate ideas, observations, and perpetual experimentation.

Katama has a BFA in Printmaking from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, and an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has taught workshops and exhibited work throughout New England and beyond, yet will always be drawn to the beauty of the Northeast coast. Tuning into the rhythm of the seasons and the plants that exist within those moments of time help to foster a deeper connection to local surroundings with respect, admiration, and care. Using a variety of materials and techniques, she creates one of a kind, handmade products on paper and fabric for those who wish to bring elements of nature into their homes and daily lives. Featuring items such as everyday textiles, prints, and creative supplies for fellow makers, each collection of work is seasonally inspired and based on the importance of place. With a passion for slow, multidisciplinary making, she strives to learn and teach together with people of all ages, hoping to inspire others to become more connected to the earth through the power of art and community.

Touchstone Retreat Schedule


Settle into this magical world

2:00-5:00 Register, share a cider, pick up a map of places you might like to visit in the area and settle in for your relaxing retreat once you've gotten a lay of the land

5:30-7:30 Join us for cocktails/mocktails, snacks, and social time.  Meet the instructors and share in the stories while we have a teacher's work exhibition.  We'll light a campfire if you'd like to linger into the evening and toast marshmallows under the stars.


Dive deep into your passion

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12-2 Garden Lunch and Guided conversation (1:00-1:30) (veg & GF friendly)

2-5 Class

5:30-6:30 pre-dinner sip and stroll~ a chance to walk the beach and catch up on the day's activities.

Thursday: Light Dinner (veg & GF friendly) Followed by a Forest Bathing Walk through the ancient Oak grove

Friday: Dinner on your own, studios will remain accessible and we'll have a campfire in the garden for your pleasure

Saturday: Moveable Feast, Some part of dinner will be served in each of the classrooms...stroll through and see what everyone's been creating


Re-emerge Gently

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12:30 - 3 Lunch, book signing, special shopping, pictures and goodbyes (veg & GF friendly)