I spent most of my childhood in Brazil, where I was born. I think it's almost impossible not to fall in love with bright colors in a place like Brazil, and that will always be a big part of me. I gravitate towards high saturation and jewel tones, working mostly with secondary or tertiary colors. I rarely work with pastels or primary colors, though I've come to appreciate a good neutral and lately I've experimented with a lighter palette.
My family also spent many years living in Europe and Asia, and we traveled frequently throughout those continents. Everywhere we went, I was always drawing, painting, and reading. In our travels, I learned so much about folklore and mythology, and fell in love with stories. The tales that people and cultures choose to tell will always fascinate me. My love of books, stories, and color come together now in my life as a yarn dyer.
My process as a dyer is not dissimilar to my process as a painter. There is a lot of experimenting and layering, usually without a specific plan. The process is messy and non-linear, but in the end a new colorway will emerge that sparks a memory and connects with a story I love. Many of my colorways are nods to books that I've enjoyed, like Girl With Glass Feet, Looking Glass, Madame Semele, and Snow Flower. Others reflect my mild obsession with folklore, like Nessie, Charybdis, and Kelpie.
In most cases, my process is intuitive - I browse my collection of dyes, pick the colors that are speaking to me on that particular day, and set about mixing hues and tints. I layer them on the undyed fiber until it emerges as something that feels finished. Every once in a while, the process will happen in the other direction. I'll see something with striking colors and can't help but think, "this would be so beautiful as yarn!" We live in coastal New England now, which is a beautiful and inspiring place.
Later this month, I'll be visiting Portland for the first time and teaching at Knit Purl - and I can't wait to see what inspires me and makes its way into my dye pots!
To learn more about Ana, visit her website at http://www.toil-and-trouble.com/