Indigo on my mind
Tomorrow I will be heading up to the town of Covelo, to attend a workshop taught by John Marshall on traditional Japanese methods of working with indigo, including rice-paste resist, clamp resist and string resist. Finally some time to get my hands in the dye vat!
My indigo crop has been flourishing this year, and I have completed the first harvest and dried the leaves to compost into sukumo this fall.
I have been learning how to compost the indigo from Rebecca Burgess, founder of fibershed and educator extraordinaire. Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to have Rowland Ricketts come to our area to teach us how to make a traditional Japanese composting floor for the indigo, and now Rebecca’s crop from last year is being composted on that floor.
In other indigo news, Rowland has been in Japan developing an indigo-related public art project and installation, called I am Ai, We are Ai, which is part of the 2012 National Cultural Festival in Japan.
If you want to learn more about Rowland and Chinami Ricketts, and the work they are doing with indigo, here are two interesting blog posts Studio Kotokoto’s blog:
Even though I haven’t had time to make any dye baths, I have continued to grow and harvest and dry dye materials for future use. My dyer’s coreopsis is especially abundant this year, and I look forward to using it in a special project at some point.
Also looking forward to another Seaside Day of Dyes (Register Here), sponsored by fibershed and taught by Rebecca Burgess this September 22nd at Drakes Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. If you are in the area, I highly recommend it! Below are some samples from the last Seaside Day of Dyes in 2011.