Wednesday, May 4 , 2016, 12:10 am | Partly Cloudy 56º

Valle Verde Senior Margaret Carlberg Proves Science Is an Art Form

By Dani Row for Valle Verde |

What do flowers and chemistry have to do with each other? Well, one area senior would tell you it has everything to do with each other.

Margaret Carlberg is a former high school chemistry teacher and a fiber artist, someone who uses natural materials to make unique woven textiles and other pieces of artwork.

In 1998, Carlberg learned that her passions for chemistry and art could be combined, and she’s been "experimenting" ever since. She admits there have been some disappointing combinations, but when a color comes out just right, the mistakes are worth it.

One of her favorite materials to work with is oxalis, or sour grass. Many consider the plant a weed, but for her, mixing it with the right chemical makes the perfect yellow color. She even uses an insect, cochineal, to make a beautiful burgundy dye.

Carlberg has taken trips across the United States and the world to places like Thailand, Peru and Mexico to discover new and unique ways to combine nature with chemicals.

Her fiber artwork is currently on display with many other fiber arts and fine wood working at Valle Verde, a Santa Barbara senior living community where she lives with her husband, David.

— Dani Row is a publicist representing Valle Verde.

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