More Musings on Indigo

I recently facilitated an Indigo vat workshop at the SEFAA center in Atlanta. The focus was on learning about quick-reduction alternatives. (Fn 1).  Naturally, we were dyeing with indigo as well.  In the workshop we used a simple paste resist, along with traditional Japanese “mechanical” resist techniques, to make marks on our cloth.  I, for one, came home feeling inspired by the spirit of exploration and experimentation shown by the participants.  Lots of interesting results!  For artists/craftspeople/designers creating in the modern/post-modern reality, Indigo and its related processes offer elements of a studio “meta” practice which can provide a means of…

In Praise of Mechanical Resists

Mechanical resists are one of the most basic and enduring mark-making techniques on cloth, and although not structural, are as fundamental to the history of textiles as spinning, weaving and felting.  This class of resists includes stitching, folding, clamping, binding (including Ikat), and wrapping, and is known collectively in Japan as shibori. The results are quite complex at times for such a seemingly simple process.  Key to these resists is the dye process:  all resists are only made manifest through that alchemy (whether through immersion or direct application). In mechanical resist dyeing there is a subtle dance of control and surrender. …

Creek Edge Emergent

  Back in the studio and delving deeper into the work…the sketching/rendering process exposes more metaphor-ia – the work is still very abstract – and although materials begin to suggest themselves, I resist the impulse to make anything solid.  Right now, I’m interested in unearthing the voices that reflect a merging of mind’s eye with subject-object… **** fantastic flaps, channels, carvings…speak of honeycombs, webs and sponges some edges smooth and curly, soft and pliant some dense and stiff,  rigid and articulated exhuberance in naked, strident figures graced with animal allies and unearthly escorts on some fantastic journey…   there is…