Textile artist Milena Silvano is one of my foremost inspirations. The forms, the shapes, and the textures are all so so earthy and organic, but evocative of the sacred. We met IRL in the fall of 2018, at Solar Return in LA, after years of virtual friendship and she was lovelier than I could have imagined. Read on to learn more about this flower child...
Who are you and what do you do?
Milena Silvano, maker/designer.
What’s your earliest plant memory?
They are smells from my childhood in Naples. Geraniums from the balcony, fragrant basil on my pizza!
Are plants involved in your current work? If so, in what way?
When I launched my label and moved to Sussex in 2011 I worked solely with natural and kitchen dyes, and as I got to learn more about plants I realised that there was an amazing cross over between dye and medicinal plants. I was for instance blown away when I learned that cleavers (a lymph tonic) and madder (known for its red pigment) are related, and that albeit much weaker, you can find red pigment in the root of the cleaver plant as well.
I moved away from dyeing myself due to lack of appropriate studio space, but I have carried on growing / wildcrafting / studying plants.
After years experimenting I am now finally enrolled in an phytotherapy course, and I’m going to let time establish how plants will inform my work in the future.
Do plants speak to you and how can you tell?
Of course, they speak to all of us!
What’s your favorite plant?
I don’t have one favourite plant per se, right now I am drawn Hawthorn and its folk tales (and tasty blossoms).
What’s your favorite natural therapy, whether that be plant medicine, acupuncture, or something else?
When I am under the weather I see Dorothea for craniosacral therapy. She is also a biodynamic gardener, and my favourite sessions are in the Spring. I try to book them at the end of the day so I can also take in the beauty of her edible garden at dusk.
What’s your favorite Wooden Spoon Herbs remedy? How has it helped you follow the plant path?
I have witnessed the early stages of Wooden Spoon Herbs, with Lauren’s lovely wildcrafted offerings. Two of my favourite products were a nettle and oatstraw tea blend and an herb gomasio. The products are still definitely staples in my routine, and Lauren has been available for guidance since. Thank you Lauren!