Tag Archives: indigo dye

making strong again

indigo.  strengthens cloth i’ve read. it seems to. it adds to it. even the sheerest of it.  like silk and cotton gauze. working on window cloths again…

again, trans boro window covering-indigo

but other things too need strengthening. our world seems to need it. it needs our protection. from ourselves.  it’s a very big effort. but something we can all do even in our own small ways.  we can continue to make, to create, to wonder, to teach the way. join forces in a mutual direction. i need it. strengthening, that is. i like what jude said here (or rather what her father said to her). and what grace says here. the indigo has to first break down before it can be of use. that thought stays with me as i dye at the vat. breaking down in order to recreate something. decomposing.   this is a thought that has occupied many conversations around here over the years.  i see the slow decay. some days i want to hurry it up,  but like the natural indigo vat, it doesn’t rush. it is life and what is the rush?

pillow front-dyeing a few things and some discharge too.

here, black friday nonsense was turned to blue friday beauty( i dyed a few things in the natural vat).  since the boys were young i’ve observed BND(and even extended it to the entire weekend at times). that means no grocery, no gas, no financial transactions at all.  just for the practice of it.  that means no selling either. it’s very peaceful and i look forward to it. it’s a good quiet time to get out the needle and thread and stitch up a few things.

envelope pillow cover back

but in the end, we do have to exist on the planet here in our daily lives so come tomorrow, we will be back at our work, paying bills, creating and making to pay those bills. but maybe a wee bit more wakeful.

tomorrow is a full moon.  i’m stitching a little silk velvet moon onto a gift for a new baby in the family. it will be a light catcher for him.  it leaves tomorrow and i’ll try to get a photo first.

**note: since i started this post (Sunday) this was in the news.  so while stores were racking up sales at record pace, garment workers in Bangladesh were losing their lives working in sub par conditions making those very things we just have to have. or do we?

more mending…

the mending is piling up again…

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soon to ready to wear-again

 

i had to send back one item as it didn’t work very well.  it was a pair of faux jeans out of a stretch material. that just doesn’t work well with this technique.  jeans are the ticket. and apparently very cool mended with my indigo dyed scraps-both these are referrals from people who saw others wearing theirs… locally.

i think i’ll post this in SustainAbility…

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103º

hot as heck here today- two colors off the poles this morning speak to it-

colorway- 103 degrees hot pink discharged with a red and orange overdye- almost blindingly hot!

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hot lava

 

colorway- hot lava  an old favorite that needed restocking black discharged and overdyed with deep red

this colorway always reminds me of the hiwatari matsuri we attended as kids in Japan. kinda burned a memory in my mind…

have some special ordered items to finish that need some handwork so think i’ll cool my heels inside with the air on low and a fan until it cools a bit- lately haven’t been starting out in the studio until later in the day- just too hot!

and last night i saw the international space station fly overhead. it was visible for about 5 minutes as it rose from the southwestern horizon heading northeast and disappearing at  78 degrees at about 8:13 pm.

i wondered what they were doing…

this and that

Some days, the only thing to do is to clear the fog from your head with a walk on the beach.  Even if it’s foggy there- and doggy, as in dog beach.  So I did (or we did).

And when it’s time to get back to work even if the silk doesn’t want to sew itself and looks like the fog in your head and the fog at the beach, it isn’t. It’s just silk and it’s slippery and finally you manage it somehow even with your very lacking sewing skills and a crappy machine.  Not bad.

So when it turns out that you base dye it purple and discharge it, and overdye it with every color of the rainbow and it turns into purple haze, and ends up paying a bill or two (made 2, paid 2)-the fog starts to lift.  Color can always do that for me. Plus paying a couple of bills doesn’t hurt. Plus when you know that the recipients of the results of such hazy days are such kind folks and so thrilled to receive their pieces, the fog continues to lift.

And the garden continues to feed us and shower us with flowers, and the air is scented with jasmine, sweet peas and the baby birds have flown the nest- then we relax a bit.

In all of this I can’t seem to remember if I mentioned that I removed some eggs from cold storage.  Some silkworm eggs…   Nothing happening with them  yet but I’m still hopeful. It’s been about a week. Maybe they are not going to hatch. This is the first time I have hatched eggs from my own moths. Time will tell.

And I didn’t entirely abandon the vats this week. A little derangement occurred.  The 1-2-3 vat was quite cranky but I think I cured it yesterday with a bit of heat, upping the pH and some more fructose.

I also played around with some hana from the PR vat.  Was just wondering a bit.  What could one do with the hana… this experiment yeilded no answers. But it looked kinda cool in the process. Still I have other thoughts on the matter.

In between I needed to sit and do some therapy stitching as well as make a pile of silk flower broaches for the San Jose Quilt Museum gift shop ( I also sent them some ribbon packs and flower kits if you stop in to the shop looking for such things). On the recommendation of my son, I watched a movie while I worked called Melancholia. He loves Wagner and the film features Richard Wagner’s prelude to  his opera Tristan and Isolde.  Tristan (my son Tristan) loves romantic orchestral music and Wagner’s Tristan is credited with  laying the groundwork for the change of direction of classical music in the 20th century as well as influencing the development of film music. I really did enjoy this dark film about the end of the world as well as the galactic imagery enhanced by the music.  It had me thinking in moons, and the mokume I stitched while watching it became this-my shibori version of the planet Melancholia.

mokume meloncholia moon madness

I’m working on another shop update which will include an in-studio indigo workshop this June (only a month away!) as well as the coming online mandala workshop.  Gotta go!

 

indigo shop update…

Yes, it’s time for a shop update! A few things have already flown the coop-or maybe I should say vat, since this update is mainly for new indigo pieces.

there is (or was) some silk…

and then some cotton, with some patches stitched with silk. and a silk velvet moon.  a great summer weight scarf for casual wear.  boro-inspired- a reminder that no scrap is too small to use or dye.

and then some more silk…double edge ombre’d of course!   100% silk, a japanese narrow width open weave~

~double arashi plus ombre on a silk cotton blend. the ombre is across the width, not the length-I like a challenge…

and how about some moons?  or circles? or circles in squares? or any which way arashi?

all on lightweight silk habutai.

    

     

there’s a few more things but you get the idea…most 2nd items ship free with the first…

Like I said in the last post, the online indigo class is continuing and a new group is joining in. Fermentation is in progress!

The weather is warming up here a bit and the indigo vats are liking it.  There’s a bird’s nest under the eve of the house in the star jasmine and all day I can hear them while I dye. The babies yelling for food and the parents yelling at Milo the cat who loiters in the driveway, every now and then getting dive-bombed by the mockers just making sure he keeps a distance…I’m keeping an eye on him as well. Even Milo is wondering. Must be spring.