10 June 2012

where i stand sunday - exploring indigo

I did something unusual yesterday - I took the day off to indulge in experimenting and just doing. Its been a long year and I needed the down time, so when Susie Krage (the Michigan rep for the Surface Design Association) decided to hold an indigo dyeing day at her house yesterday, I marked the date on my calendar and defended it with all my might.

Was a good thing too, it was a fascinating time. I had trouble getting photos because I was too busy shoving fabric in the vats. I so wanted to show you the way it came out alien green and rapidly changed to different shades of blues. Its magic, no other way to describe it.

Here are a few shots I did get of everyone's magic flapping on the clothes lines:

When I saw how rich and deep the color could get, I knew right away that I wanted some solid pieces to print on, here are two of them:

Imagine that loaded up with layers and stitching. (Kind of makes you swoon, doesn't it?)

Yesterday was the perfect picture of why I joined SDA in the first place. I wanted to be around other people who get it. I wanted to know other artists that hold their breath when the fabric comes out of the vat and turns colors and they get giddy over the possibilities.

I know that its unlikely I would know most of these women without the organization. Its also the reason I belong to Studio Art Quilt Associates - and why I decided to become a rep for them. Its all about camaraderie.

I got quite a few pieces dyed up. They haven't been washed out yet and kind of look stiff and a little unbecoming right now so I'll wait to show you them until they've been prettied up.

I will say that I'm probably going to set up a mini vat in my studio. I'd always been a little hesitant about indigo ever since I read that you have to feed the vat to keep it active. (Brought to mind this. I'll name the vat Audrey II.) Turns out it just wants a little taste of thiox now and again, I can handle that.

All in all, a happy day. It never ceases to amaze me just how much there is to learn with textiles. They are a never ending source of inspiration.


Jean Baardsen said...

Wow! The colors are beautiful. Makes me start to drool....

Heartsdesire Quilts said...

Beautiful, indigo is my favorite. I have never dyed before and would love to learn.

FunkyC said...

I spy blue feet!

Jeannie said...

Welcome to the dark side! I experimented with indigo a couple of years ago and have had a vat every summer since. I collect things all year to transform to indigo. My husband will even wear a tshirt I shibori dyed for him! (He is a button down collar + tie kind of guy). Even when the vat dies, it is easy to get a new one going. Have fun! A word of caution, always check your gloves before you begin - I spent most of last summer with indigo fingers.