indigo

while i can appreciate the unplanned or willy nilly aspects of many hand dyed fabrics, i have myself a desire to go beyond the happenstance. i like to set intention before making and work towards it. i like when people wonder…now how did she do that? then i feel the work succeeded on some level. often in the experimental stages i need to “just see what happens” when i try out some new idea or technique but after the initial plunge i try to refine, perfect, and replicate the things i consider successful. i’m sure part of this comes from the fact that i have made a living making now for (dare i say it?) 35 years. making for a living often requires making more than one of something and while each handmade item is unique in some way there is a usually a condition of mass making on some level that allows for the endeavor to become self supportive. i bring this up in reference to the above indigo on silk piece as it is a technique i created with indigo that is unique to me (as far as i know). my vat recently seemed in the mood to do some more of these pieces and while seeming rather unplanned and willy nilly, it really isn’t. some things i don’t have the desire to teach for various reasons and this is one of them. but i do love the results… i think i will pleat the ends only. i can’t bring myself to completely bury the mesmerizing pattern of the indigo in the pleats-but some will give it some shape. we will see…

silk shibori ribbon rolls


in between the wild colors of silk ribbon i’ve been dyeing and working on, i’ve managed to get some indigo into the mix. the 3 vats taunt me as i walk past them several times a day and the deep green of their reduction as i stir and adjust them each day really tempts me even when there are so many other things i *should* be and am doing. when i am dyeing, steaming and wrapping silk i usually manage to take some time to dye some yardage and that is what i did this past week. i’ve broken it up into prepacks like this and listed them in the shop:

it always amazes me how much time goes into dyeing with indigo to create the different shades. here i have been experimenting with several vats: my basic vat started over 3 years ago using natural indigo in a chemical reduction and added to as needed, and two newer vats both using indigo from aurora silk- the sky blue indigo and a super fine cosmetic grade indigo. at first, i wasn’t really noticing the difference with the sky blue indigo but with further practice i’m getting to know it better and see some differences in the colors i can obtain on different fabrics. the fine cosmetic grade seems to be able to produce some unique shadings along with some very dark darks. as usual, there is always some mystery to the results…

next to hit the shop will be some indigo moons, some dragonfly pins and kits to make your own…soon.

4 thoughts on “indigo

  1. Dar

    While I enjoy most everything you’re working on, I find that first silk piece especially fascinating to look at. Makes me wonder. Very few people make me wonder so wonderfully.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      wonder for the win! to make another dyer i admire wonder is gloriously wonderful! as for that piece…i have several i did the other day when the vat was in a certain state…noticing is key.

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  2. helen salo

    I’ve always admired your talent and years of persistence to perfection and it always shows. I absolutely love the “new” piece, proof that’s there’s more to indigo dyeing than just a twist and a dip. I’m definately on your list of one who appreciates your talent.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      thanks helen. i just like to dig a little deeper. to wonder more…just so happens i cut up one (not the one pictured but a “practice” piece done the same day) and included it as extra in the recent indigo packs which you got one of. all gone now…so you will see a version of it in person!

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be in touch and wonder~

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