Rosa Terráqueo

Rosa: Pink color (noun, Spanish)

Terráqueo: From planet Earth or related to it (adjective, Spanish)

Once prevalent across all cultures, natural dyes were quickly replaced by synthetic dyes after their discovery in the nineteenth century. Besides being powerful color sources, plants can also reveal different properties of the water used. 

High in tannins and readily available, avocado seeds are some of the most reliable colorants from nature. They yield a variety of (mostly pink) hues, depending on the quality of the water it is paired with.

Rosa Terráqueo is a textile exploration of water quality through the lens of botanical dyes. Avocado seeds and a variety of water samples, each with its own level of alkalinity and mineral content, are used to produce a spectrum of pink tones.

The project was inspired by the wide range of pink hues obtained in a series of avocado dye workshops conducted across Europe in the summer of 2017 by Fragmentario.

Upon returning to Brooklyn, experiments began in order to reproduce the water of various locations using household materials, such as lime and salts to transform the soft, neutral water of New York into a variety of harder, basic and acidic waters. Simultaneously, a network of collaborators has provided water samples from around the world– Colombia, France, Greece, India, Japan, Mexico, among others– which have been used to map the range of avocado pink hues.

Both experiments were integral in understanding how different markers of water quality affected color. The results were used to infuse a range of hues onto deadstock silk fabrics.

Rosa Terráqueo seeks to visually illustrate the significance of water quality and to question how these variables affect our environments and ourselves. Its name is a nod to the global nature of the waters used for the project and the diverse pink hues obtained with them.