learning to bow and continuing

Yesterday as I was cleaning up the studio in preparation for some cooler wind and rain, I found myself bowing in thanks to the vats as I closed them up for the day.  A particularly lovely ombre piece had emerged from the fermentation vat and thanks was in order.  The bowing and ありがとうございました came naturally and without thought- and I wondered why I hadn’t done this before. Perhaps it was the natural response to the fermentation vat success.   In the moment I reflected that there were several things coming together that caused this instinctual thanksgiving.

indigo itajime on linen

First, the online indigo workshop is nearing it’s end.  This is the last week (week 5) and ombre dyeing was the last scheduled lesson.  My fermentation vat is solid now (at least I hope so!) and I am looking forward to using it all summer long.  Thinking about the online workshop…it is occurring to me that it is much like the fermentation vat.  The bacteria need a little time to get going and now that it is live and working, one wants to keep it going.  so I am thinking on that idea.  There have been a number of folks who want to join in as the weather warms up in their areas and have asked for me to run it again.

Rather than run it again, I’m thinking of continuing. At least through the summer months.

I don’t want to kill off the global indigo fermentation that is ongoing through this workshop,  and just like the fermentation vat, which needs feeding to keep it alive and active, so might the indigo workshop need some reviving with new folks and new ideas (this being one of them).  I can see how the accumulated knowledge and experience can continue to grow if the project is nourished.

indigo seedlings

The indigo seedlings are looking good so far- maybe there will be a fresh indigo dyeing lesson down the road if I can keep them going.  Several folks in the class are growing indigo as well.

So the plan has changed and the indigo workshop will continue.  I have reopened registration and will leave it that way for now. You can purchase it in the shop (which by the way, I redesigned last week and sold out items will show sold out on mouse over- a much needed improvement and requested by several customers tired of trying to find something not sold out!) – thanks to Big Cartel for the upgrades.

Then this is how it will work- everyone who already purchased this class is obviously still in-will remain in and you can continue to post and view lessons as usual.  I will continue to answer questions as needed- please have patience though as I am also working in the studio on many other things as well.  All newcomers will get added to the class as you sign up-again be patient and reply to the invites as directed-this makes my life so much easier when you do.  Email me for any help on this. I will undoubtedly add to the lessons here and there as things come up and time permits.

The real beauty of this experimental online indigo workshop is the knowledge that is being shared and created by having such a great group of folks all working in indigo together- some of whom are very experienced as well as those who are beginners.

And speaking of bowing…

I want to personally thank Jude -for her support and enthusiasm for blue and persistence, John Marshall -who added his vast experience to the group, to Ulrike- who I don’t think has an online link but who participated with great enthusiasm and knowledge from Germany, to Susan who’s work, blog and Japanese spirit I have admired for many years now. And of course to all the rest of you who took the course and trusted that such a crazy idea might actually work out! Especially to those of you who braved posting your work for all to see and discuss.  Really, we are all in this together and only through practice can we learn.

ありがとうございました  thank you!

So, now onto a couple of other things.

First- I am preparing a special followup class on indigo mandalas that Richard Carbin and I worked on when he was here a couple of months ago.  I will put it in the shop soon and we will share the proceeds equally.  I really recommend taking the indigo class first as we will not be discussing making a vat or any of that.  Just the making of the mandalas and the dyeing of them with indigo.  They are very special done in indigo.

at Satou san's

Next, I have opened up the 2011 virtual Silk Study Tour blog to the public.  You might want to enjoy a little of that.  The May 2013 Silk Study Tour is now gathering.  If you want to join us on the tour please click here and sign yourself up to receive more information. (Spaces are already filling and the tour is limited to 18 participants.)

17 thoughts on “learning to bow and continuing

  1. Katherine Baldwin

    Since life intervened with son, spring break, and trying to work around a husband who is only home on weekends and does not like vats in the way – I am glad to be able to continue/start as well. I will post what I do, and share my planting of indigo when it gets started.


  2. Michelle in NYC

    I have been watching from a distance since being with Jude on the Feather Project, reading your blog as you post….but I wonder if as a limited income novice I might venture forth, join in, try to catch up and continue. I have no on line financial ability. Would you accept a check sent by ordinary mail? If yes, do send me the cost.


    1. shiborigirl Post author

      of course! i will send you an email with the info- and yes, continuing will mean that anyone can join in at anytime and begin. there really isn’t any catching up to do. just beginning is enough.


  3. sandranetherlands

    as I was a bit behind in following your lessons, I’m very glad that you are continuing the workshop. 🙂 But did I understand correctly that I don’t have to sign up again, meaning that I don’t have to pay something extra for staying in the workshop as it continues?


  4. lottahelleberg

    thank you for continuing the workshop. I had to take a short break, my vats are resting in my basement, but they will be revived soon. I have enjoyed this class very much!


  5. carolinekeogh

    Thank you for your insights and generosity Glennis, I have loved doing this online class. It has been so lovely how everyone has pitched in with kind advice and ideas, thank you everyone.
    I hope to be in and out of touch but I do know that I will always have an indigo vat on the go and feel a lot more confident about feeding it.


  6. debgorr

    I love that you are doing this. The forum for class has been an incredible resource along with your lessons. Having to plant another batch of indigo seeds, first batch didn’t germinate.


    1. shiborigirl Post author

      deb- try scoring the seed. it was recommended to me last year and it seemed to help. then i sat them i a dish on damp paper toweling until they sprouted. this year i got my seeds from rowland and just sowed them in the ground. worked fine. but must be kept moist. the don’t like to dry out.


  7. Leslie

    I’m so glad to have a second chance to make progress with both indigo and shibori. Passover and work commitments have tied up my time, so my vats need serious attention … so reviving a neglected vat will be my next homework task. And I’m very keen to try my hand at yardage for summer garment and mandalas. Summer is always productive in my studio – this year I’m thinking blue, blue and more blue.



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