post indigo blues

i love the early hours of the morning where everyone else still lives in their dreams, even the dog at my feet whose legs twitch, dogdreaming-perhaps running free, not at the end of a leash.

it gives me time to think, to make my morning coffee, read the paper and perhaps even write a post like this one here.

this morning though, i also have time to ponder the last two days which have been spent giving an indigo workshop here at my studio. as i drink this morning’s coffee, i look out on the just completed deck repair where we spent some of the time stitching, talking, and of course- wondering. all the blue that we hung at the end to get a bigger view of is gone, leaving me with the post-indigo blues.

my new moon friends

with everyone assembled, we took a look around the garden. within the first few minutes after they arrived, so did several beautiful hawks! the local crows and jays were laughing and waking the whole neighborhood and i looked up just in time to see a large beautiful hawk fly right over us from the two story cactus and into the alley behind. the hawks soared up and circled for several minutes while we watched. we don’t see them often in the neighborhood and never before have i seen them inside my yard. i captured a couple of pictures of one in the neighboring palm tree, feasting while crows screamed in the background.

hawk in the palm


there was also talk of feathers, and sky fabric, and spirit cloth in the making.

the 4 participants, karleen, mae, gerrie, and patty were a delightful group-full of wonder and enthusiasm in equal parts. three of the gals have taken many sessions from me at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) where i give workshops on a regular basis, the other had been in an online class with me. (in fact, there is another JANM workshop this coming saturday focusing on indigo where we will stitch dragonfly motifs among other things).

the four ladies -a retired firefighter, a painter, an apparel manufacturer, and a writer- enjoyed two days of exploring the vats at their leisure. my friend penny came by both days to assist and wonder with us. we spent the first morning getting to know each other, the textiles and the vats by making some swatch sheets.

swatch making

they had about a dozen or more various fabrics to work with so we made pages to help us remember.

one page was made to simply identify each fabric for later reference. the others showed how each fabric took the indigo dye with one and two dips in the vats.

no matter how you think you might remember it all, the memory has a way of fading, somewhat like the indigo.

it was a beautiful indigo day

we explored many indigo and shibori traditions, stitching,
itajime, and arashi as well as some ombre dyeing. patty even brought some old kimono silk from the lining of an old kimono that had been taken apart and she designed and dyed it to use for a garment she will make. it will be beautiful. everyone made many moons, the indigo and orange moons being the most popular i think. where ever i give a workshop we make moons together and i gain new moon friends. karleen seemed particularly keen on the board clamping and came away with a beautiful ombre piece over dyed with an itajime pattern.

a little itajime with ombre

gerrie and patty both made some large motifs on cotton flannel suitable for pillow shams and everyone did some larger scrim pieces they thought they might use for curtains.

in the end, everyone exchanged emails with promises to share the makings of their indigo fabrics and even left with intentions to meet again in Utah in february at the high desert silk retreat. some are even wondering if a visit to Japan in 2013 might be in their future… it was a wonderful indigo weekend!

and if that weren’t enough, my sensei in Japan sent me a note friday to express the following…the timing couldn’t have been better.
ぐれにす さん へ
ひらたさんから おくられてきました。
あめりかで すくもう が つくられていることを しり うれしい です。
これからは あめりかで どんどん ひろがって いくとおもいます。
ありがとうございました。

she is happy to see the American’s interest in indigo rising like the moon. we both are.

18 thoughts on “post indigo blues

  1. velma

    i think that the post teaching sadness is just to remind us how much we get from teaching. it looks like you had a terrific group and all enjoyed each other…a special magic.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      yes, we do get a lot from teaching others.
      it was a great group and i especially enjoy sharing japanese culture and traditions. the three japanese gals(nisei or second generation i imagine) were laughing saying they thought i was more japanese than they were…

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  2. Susan

    I’m inspired (to keep exploring & teaching – it all amounts to the same thing, doesn’t it?)! Beautiful work! よくできました、グリ二スさん!

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