I am just beginning to “unpack” the content and experiences I had last week at Arrowmont in Catharine Ellis’ Natural Dye workshop. The volume of information we were introduced to, along with the actual practices we were absorbing, was tremendous and overwhelming – towards the end of the week it was almost as if a bomb had exploded in my brain – an indigo-cochineal-weld-ferrous bomb – shaken, stirred, dissolved, precipitated…I feel like the cloth we worked with – now primed to soak up as much as I can following this most intensive week of learning! I am so grateful to Catharine for making the space and providing the energy for this experience…I am also indebted to the fabulous workshop participants whose individual contributions to the body of understanding were, for me, an essential part of the process. I am overflowing with joy and an urgent desire to get to work!! First up: my organic indigo vat. Meanwhile, here are some images from the week (click on a thumbnail to open the gallery). Many thanks to Jane Cooper for supplying a few of these images.
First madderroot (and ferrous) print samples completed! More process info in today’s IG story. **If you are in the ATL area and want to learn more, I’m teaching my first workshop of the year on printing/painting with natural dyes March 20-22 at the #sefaa center. It will be part in-person/part remote. Check out @sefiberarts / fiberartsalliance.org for more info. Space is limited.
A last look at my madder extraction process - such an amazing color, at least at this stage!
In addition to working with Madderoot this week, I’m working with wax resists again. Playing with marks in preparation for a more planned session. Images (one array and 3 side-by-side composites) in the stack are all post-steam and wash. Soy wax and fiber-reactive dyes.
First extraction (c.4L), with straining cloth.
Dried Madder-Root extraction (30%)- for direct application (thickening for print/paint). I will eventually have 3 sample sets at 3 strengths for comparison.
Madder-Root (Rubia spp.) - dried root (coarse and fine), along with a concentrated powdered extract. Ready to get started!
January always feels like an opportunity to reset. Winter contracts. Interior calls. Partially immersed, work progresses at a different pace until, all at once, I am compelled to emerge from this little cocoon. For now though, time to take stock, drink in inspiration, clean, plan...and of course, continue quietly working.
Healing work is calling.
Onward. Affirm the good.