First Indigo Workshop

November 5, 2010

 

Our indigo crop at Mt. Barnabe

Indigo is being harvested for both seed, and there is some very nice fresh leaf in the field— still perfect for the making of sukomo (indigo balls).  In honor of the harvest, we had our first indigo workshop at the Regenerative Design Institute.  It was well attended, by a very talented group of artists, professional designers, permaculturalists, and teachers.

Everyone had the opportunity to clean their own seeds, and take home some of the fresh Polygonum tinctorium for their own home gardens.  Growing our own blue is a step toward a regenerative color base, that is not reliant on unhealthy concentrations of heavy metals– or petroleum by-products.

Along with immersion processes, we also made an indigo paint for use as a surface design feature.

Here, indigo is painted onto a hemp cotton.. the oxidation occurs after the brushwork is complete.  Turning your work from a yellowish green, to a deep blue, right before your eyes.

Indigo Paint was used here over an immersion dip in a fermentation vat.

This creative piece was constructed with both shibori techniques and beeswax batik processes.

A shibori heart- made by a true resist dyeing professional!

Gorgeous batik… dipped in fermentation indigo.

Another example of a batik process dipped in fermentation indigo.

As we left the Regenerative Design Institute a fresh harvest of apples, greens, and goat’s milk whey had been lovingly displayed, for us all to enjoy, and take home.

On the way home, through the Bolinas Mesa.. enjoying the sunset through the bank of fog.

Thank you Erin, Penny, and all of you wonderful participants!

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A Season of Botanic Color

November 2, 2010

 

photo taken by Dr. Sara Gottfried at her model platinum leed Oakland home

There’s been five fabulous workshops in the last three weeks– and I haven’t been able to document them all.  However– what pictures were taken I now have the privilege of sharing with you.  This autumn has been a complete inspiration for me as a lover of natural color.  The students created so many new samples, and finished goods to awe over…

photo taken by Dr. Sara Gottfried

Sara’s pants were soaked in iron and then dipped in fair trade logwood from the Dominican Republic.  A one-of-a-kind gorgeous creation.

A cotton sample freely printed by a student with found-object iron acetates, and an immersion dip…

photo taken by Dr. Sara Gottfried

Sara dipped her silk in native coffeeberry and logwood after she and her daughters wrapped it and secured it with little stones.

photo taken by Dr. Sara Gottfried

The preparing of the black walnut bath.  After some soaking and boiling these husks turned our fabrics into a range of deep and lighter shades of chestnut brown.

Rows of Native Color + Indigo:  Jeannie and Marie created a very organized row of samples– the bottom row was dyed in black walnut, the next row up was dyed in coffeeberry, the pinks were dyed in horsetail, the blues—in indigo, and the top row was dyed in madrone bark.  The samples were done on handwoven hemp, cotton weaves and knits, silks, – and cotton hemp blends.

A simple coreopsis flower bath turned Geraldine’s pole wrapped silk into a lovely golden sample–reminiscent of the falling leaves dusting our sidewalks.

photo taken by Dr. Sara Gottfried

Sara’s horsetail shibori shirt– this is my absolute favorite dye this season.  Normally I harvest it in the late spring.. and realized this year, that it is still producing amazing color well into the fall.  I wonder where the pink is hiding within this 380 million year old species.. it has so many stories to tell, if only its DNA could talk in a language I could understand!

Thank you Dharma Trading Company, Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard University, Lambtown, and the Regenerative Design Institute for sponsoring, supporting, and giving such an incredible foundation for natural color experimentation this season!