NEED TO KNOW: CARA MARIE PIAZZA

Q&A with artisan
& textile designer,
Cara Marie Piazza

Introducing the woman behind our Botanical Dye Capsule collection, featuring one-of-a-kind pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

NEED TO KNOW: CARA MARIE PIAZZA

Q&A with artisan
& textile designer,
Cara Marie Piazza

Introducing the woman behind our Botanical Dye Capsule collection, featuring one-of-a-kind pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

We recently collaborated with NYC textile designer, Cara Marie Piazza, on a limited-run capsule collection featuring pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

We recently collaborated with NYC textile designer, Cara Marie Piazza, on a limited-run capsule collection featuring pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

We recently collaborated with NYC textile designer, Cara Marie Piazza, on a limited-run capsule collection featuring pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

We recently collaborated with NYC textile designer, Cara Marie Piazza, on a limited-run capsule collection featuring pieces hand dyed with botanical dyes.

Cara uses organic dye materials, like botanicals, plant matter, minerals and non-toxic metals to create one-of-a-kind textiles.

Cara uses organic dye materials, like botanicals, plant matter, minerals and non-toxic metals to create one-of-a-kind textiles.

The Mara Hoffman Botanical Dye Capsule features pieces hand dyed with organic safflower and natural rose pigments to create a unique watercolor tie dye.

The Mara Hoffman Botanical Dye Capsule features pieces hand dyed with organic safflower and natural rose pigments, resulting in a unique watercolor tie dye.

The Mara Hoffman Botanical Dye Capsule features pieces hand dyed with organic safflower and natural rose pigments to create a unique watercolor tie dye.

Below, a Q&A with Cara featuring some of her original illustrations:

Below, a Q&A with Cara featuring some of her original illustrations:

Where'd you come from?

I am a good old fashioned New York City kid. My introduction to nature came from observing how weeds break through the concrete and how life seems to spring from the cracks in the cement.

Also watering plants on my grandma’s porch in Long Island. I was born into a kooky and loving Italian-American family, where food, drama and chaos are abundant.

I’ve had many lives going to school for jewelry and textiles, working in press, vintage stores and styling, loving nightlife, having a series of holistic psychic shifts, reinventions and failures all leading me here.

Where'd you come from?

I am a good old fashioned New York City kid. My introduction to nature came from observing how weeds break through the concrete and how life seems to spring from the cracks in the cement.

Also watering plants on my grandma’s porch in Long Island. I was born into a kooky and loving Italian-American family, where food, drama and chaos are abundant.

I’ve had many lives going to school for jewelry and textiles, working in press, vintage stores and styling, loving nightlife, having a series of holistic psychic shifts, reinventions and failures all leading me here.

What attracted you to your craft?

I often joke, but the craft chose me.

I wanted to work in art and fashion from a young age but was disillusioned with the toxic output of the fashion industry. In my thesis year of college at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, I was first introduced to the medium with a workshop on dyeing with onion skins.

It was simple, but a light bulb went off when I realized color could come from plants. I was instantly hooked, obsessed even. I wanted to experiment and test all the plants and food scraps I had around me. I’ve been extracting color ever since.

Where'd you come from?

I am a good old fashioned New York City kid. My introduction to nature came from observing how weeds break through the concrete and how life seems to spring from the cracks in the cement.

Also watering plants on my grandma’s porch in Long Island. I was born into a kooky and loving Italian-American family, where food, drama and chaos are abundant.

I’ve had many lives going to school for jewelry and textiles, working in press, vintage stores and styling, loving nightlife, having a series of holistic psychic shifts, reinventions and failures all leading me here.

What is your astrological breakdown?

Pisces Sun, Sagittarius Rising and a Leo Moon.

What’s your favorite element to dye with?

My copper pot.

Where'd you come from?

I am a good old fashioned New York City kid. My introduction to nature came from observing how weeds break through the concrete and how life seems to spring from the cracks in the cement.

Also watering plants on my grandma’s porch in Long Island. I was born into a kooky and loving Italian-American family, where food, drama and chaos are abundant.

I’ve had many lives going to school for jewelry and textiles, working in press, vintage stores and styling, loving nightlife, having a series of holistic psychic shifts, reinventions and failures all leading me here.

What are you listening to right now?

SAULT, Nilufer Yana & Maverick Sabre.

What attracted you to your craft?

I often joke, but the craft chose me.

I wanted to work in art and fashion from a young age but was disillusioned with the toxic output of the fashion industry. In my thesis year of college at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, I was first introduced to the medium with a workshop on dyeing with onion skins.

It was simple, but a light bulb went off when I realized color could come from plants. I was instantly hooked, obsessed even. I wanted to experiment and test all the plants and food scraps I had around me. I’ve been extracting color ever since.

What is your astrological breakdown?

Pisces Sun, Sagittarius Rising and a Leo Moon.

What’s your favorite dye element?

My copper pot.

What are you listening to right now?

SAULT, Nilufer Yana & Maverick Sabre.

Do you have any daily rituals during this time?

Coffee, breathing, walking my pup Theodore, writing morning pages, breathing. Sometimes in that order, sometimes doing some more than others. Always coffee first thing.

What is your favorite part of the creation process?

The transmutation of turning a plant into color, or the alchemy of the process.

Natural dyes are a medium and applicable to so many different materials. I love the satisfaction of problem solving and for the lack of a better word, “magic” around the multiplicity of working with color from natural materials.

I find the process itself both meditative, and expansive at the same time.

What is it like working with natural materials in the middle of a city? How do you approach color?

It’s an interesting process, it requires a bit more thriftiness as you don’t have immediate access to plant matter as you might have upstate. But out of necessity breeds invention.

When I started out, I was interested in a different type of city foraging, not only for city plant matter like weeds, but also in the types of relationships and materials you could forage from industry. I partner often with florists and restaurants to take their leftover food waste and plant matter to turn into dye.

I think our cities need better logistical programming and infrastructure to handle waste, and also for us to reimagine the way we think of waste, not as something disposable, but as a resource. There is a lot of room for experimentation with agricultural byproducts, post-event florals and food waste to turn into dye.

Does your process change with the seasons?

Yes. It affects the types of plant matter I work with. I can work with extracts and dried plant matter all year long but the summer and the harvest season in late august is where I can collect all the fresh flower matter to dry and store for the rest of the year.

What inspires you?

The plants.

Where'd you come from?

I am a good old fashioned New York City kid. My introduction to nature came from observing how weeds break through the concrete and how life seems to spring from the cracks in the cement.

Also watering plants on my grandma’s porch in Long Island. I was born into a kooky and loving Italian-American family, where food, drama and chaos are abundant.

I’ve had many lives going to school for jewelry and textiles, working in press, vintage stores and styling, loving nightlife, having a series of holistic psychic shifts, reinventions and failures all leading me here.

Do you have any daily rituals during this time?

Coffee, breathing, walking my pup Theodore, writing morning pages, breathing. Sometimes in that order, sometimes doing some more than others. Always coffee first thing.

What is your favorite part of the creation process?

The transmutation of turning a plant into color, or the alchemy of the process.

Natural dyes are a medium and applicable to so many different materials. I love the satisfaction of problem solving and for the lack of a better word, “magic” around the multiplicity of working with color from natural materials.

I find the process itself both meditative, and expansive at the same time.

Do you have any daily rituals during this time?

Coffee, breathing, walking my pup Theodore, writing morning pages, breathing. Sometimes in that order, sometimes doing some more than others. Always coffee first thing.

What is your favorite part of the creation process?

The transmutation of turning a plant into color, or the alchemy of the process.

Natural dyes are a medium and applicable to so many different materials. I love the satisfaction of problem solving and for the lack of a better word, “magic” around the multiplicity of working with color from natural materials.

I find the process itself both meditative, and expansive at the same time.

What is it like working with natural materials in the middle of a city? How do you approach color?

It’s an interesting process, it requires a bit more thriftiness as you don’t have immediate access to plant matter as you might have upstate. But out of necessity breeds invention.

When I started out, I was interested in a different type of city foraging, not only for city plant matter like weeds, but also in the types of relationships and materials you could forage from industry. I partner often with florists and restaurants to take their leftover food waste and plant matter to turn into dye.

I think our cities need better logistical programming and infrastructure to handle waste, and also for us to reimagine the way we think of waste, not as something disposable, but as a resource. There is a lot of room for experimentation with agricultural byproducts, post-event florals and food waste to turn into dye.

What is it like working with natural materials in the middle of a city? How do you approach color?

It’s an interesting process, it requires a bit more thriftiness as you don’t have immediate access to plant matter as you might have upstate. But out of necessity breeds invention.

When I started out, I was interested in a different type of city foraging, not only for city plant matter like weeds, but also in the types of relationships and materials you could forage from industry. I partner often with florists and restaurants to take their leftover food waste and plant matter to turn into dye.

I think our cities need better logistical programming and infrastructure to handle waste, and also for us to reimagine the way we think of waste, not as something disposable, but as a resource. There is a lot of room for experimentation with agricultural byproducts, post-event florals and food waste to turn into dye.

Does your process change with the seasons?

Yes. It affects the types of plant matter I work with. I can work with extracts and dried plant matter all year long but the summer and the harvest season in late august is where I can collect all the fresh flower matter to dry and store for the rest of the year.

What inspires you?

The plants.

Does your process change with the seasons?

Yes. It affects the types of plant matter I work with. I can work with extracts and dried plant matter all year long but the summer and the harvest season in late august is where I can collect all the fresh flower matter to dry and store for the rest of the year.

What inspires you?

The plants.

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