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.

a little lost..

maybe this guy will help me find my way-

shibori indigo dragonfly

silk shibori ribbon dragnflies


~or maybe even these…

making

the feeling a little lost comes from losing my HD recently. even though i had most VID backed up, i did manage to lose quite a bit of stuff. nice.

a trip to the mountains (thanks vic & yvonne!) to clear my head however has resulted in some good work and i’m now back home working- still struggling though with setting everything back up the way i need it to make screen time efficient. please bear with me…

bear claw tree

upcoming events include the following at the moment:

~Art Unraveled
an all day workshop (monday the 8th) covering for Lorri Scott who is recovering from retinal surgery (rest up Lorri!!)
i will also vend on saturday the 6th
ASG (American Sewing Guild) Conference in Los Angeles Aug 18-22
JANM (Japanese American National Museum) Shibori Workshop Sept 17 call them to register. (their sept. calendar isn’t posted yet but will be soon i’m told)

what more can i say? (backup backup backup…oh…and backup your backup. also, organize your photo backups…that way you won’t have to sort through 10,000 photos, find what you need and want, and decide what you want to load back)

also, there are some good tools out there to download all your flickr pics…at once.
it’s for the mac. and you get to feed the kitties.
nice!

shop update and sea anemone

this post title seems a little odd i know but i must get the word back out that i am adding new items to the bigcartel shop and i have re-opened the etsy shop.

first some pretty pictures before i get to the messy business of words…

sea flowers


sea anemones tend to stay in the same spot until conditions become unsuitable, whereupon they can detach themselves and swim away to a new location… something to think about.

then there are also new silk flowers…

summer blooms in silk shibori

in addition to spending quite a bit of time this week with a needle in hand sewing with invisible thread, i’ve spent some time dyeing new shibori ribbon and will have some new ribbon combo packs in the shop tomorrow. just need to finish the photos and get them posted up. but here is a preview of one new color-hot tropics…things are heating up around here- and elsewhere too, i hear.

but when i feel the need to cool down, the indigo vat is always waiting. cool cool blue. at the moment i have 3 vats going which i am stirring every evening and taking note of the daily ph. one of the vats is made with cheryl kollander’s sky blue indigo which i wanted to try. it does make a nice blue but honestly i have been doing test swatches with all three vats and don’t notice too much difference. maybe it’s just me. i have a lot to learn. she is having a professional level natural dye workshop in july and although i can’t make this work out for me, maybe you can. she has a lot of experience to share. i buy all my indigo from her- it makes sense to me to buy it from someone who uses her own product on a regular basis. even if it costs a little more-which i’m not even sure it actually does.

i’ll be adding some more blue to the shop in coming days, but for now- i have added aiko there. she is ready to wander off into the world and i hope that wherever she lands we will see a glimpse of her future travels. another aiko is in the making too…

aiko has a moment by the pond as she wonders about the future

frolicking in blue fields…

she came upon and frolicked in, fields of blue flowers while gathering sansai (mountain vegetables)

while gathering sansai...

when her basket was filled, aiko returned home and on the way came across a simple buddhist temple and a great buddha image. it reminded her of her home and the great daibutsu in kamakura…she left a few coins in gratitude of her abundance, said a quiet prayer and lit some incense in memory of her ancestors before continuing down the mountainside.

aiko visits the great mountainside buddha