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Ecological Arts – Simple is Better

Recently I received a phone call from a young woman who asked if I could photograph her textiles. My immediate response was, “Well, you may want a studio photographer. Someone who is better at making things look perfect. I only use natural light and my favorite studio is a barn.”

And she said, “Perfect.”

Then she went on to describe what she does and I said, “Perfect.”

Rebecca Burgess is her name, and Ecological Arts is her business. Rebecca creates textiles with fiber that is produced and dyed using sustainable practices. An example of a sustainable fiber that she uses is vegan silk. Vegan silk is made from cocoons after the worms have emerged; instead of the traditional silk that is made by boiling the cocoons with the the worms still in them…. a fun new farming practice to add to the list.

So Rebecca is doing super cool work with communities around the world, including the community she lives in, and she is making beautiful works of art that she wanted photographed in a natural way…. so we went to the barn. I tried a couple of other spots first, and they were ok… but the barn was the best. Simple, complimentary colors, and without wicker furniture to move out of the way.

This last photo is cool, because she is dying the wool with native California plants like coyote brush and coffee berry. She wanted this photo to demonstrate how protecting our native plants and planting with our native plants is not only beneficial for the soil, water table, and native animals, but it also can be fun to use for your next sustainable wool creation. Yay Rebecca!

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

5 Comments

  1. into it.

    Reply

  2. very cool paige…you know a studio photographer would have spent 3 days trying to create the ‘barn effect’ and simulate daylight with flash!

    The shots look great

    Reply

  3. […] black cloth and away we went. I don’t know that I will ever use real lights, as long as I have my favorite barn. Thanks again to Mimi, at Windrush Farm, for letting us […]

    Reply

  4. […] black cloth and away we went. I don’t know that I will ever use real lights, as long as I have my favorite barn. Thanks again to Mimi, at Windrush Farm, for letting us […]

    Reply

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