Deep Into The Indigo Vat

September started out with a three day indigo class at the Maiwa School of Textiles. The class was titled Journey Into Indigo, and it lived up to its name. This class was the first of the fall session classes and the first class to try out the new classroom. The space and the class were energizing. It was great to be together with 15 artists who are as excited about the same things you are. When you are doing things like dyeing, spinning and weaving they tend to be an isolating activity.

My homework from day one.

We started out learning different types of stitch resist. They take the longest to create. While we were doing our tiny stitches on different types of fabric. Sophena and Dani talked us through creating a organic indigo vat using bananas. The classroom smelled liked we were making banana bread.

The indigo flower on the banana vat.

I did as much experimenting and sampling as I could in 3 days. Trying different resist methods and different indigo vats. We were given different fabrics, natural and bleached linen, two types of silk, and different types of cotton. It was interesting how the different fabrics came out of the vat being different colors. Natural indigo is a fascinating subject.

Sampling the indigo.

Besides the fabric samples, we were also given a large cotton scarf. I waited until the second day to decide how I was going to dye mine. No time for little stitches but after we were shown a few techniques to do on a large scale piece I decided to do a sea creature! Not really.

The 'sea creature' before it saw the vat. 

After four dips into the indigo vat, a good rinse and drying out on the porch of Bee & Thistle Guesthouse. This is what the 'sea creature' emerged as. Of course this was taken back home in Utah showing off the local sagebrush.

The 'sea creature' back home in Utah, where the sagebrush grows. 

I didn't always have my gloves on and so I came home with a little tint to my hands. Maybe that's why the custom's agent in Canada had a strange look when he asked what our business in Canada was and I said taking a class on dyeing, and held up my hands. He gave my husband a strange look and we added dyeing fabric. They did let us out of Canada.

"Mom, that's a little creepy"

Of course, because I was up to my elbows in indigo I didn't do a good job getting pictures. Check out Journey into Indigo on Instagram.  I went home with all the materials needed to create my own indigo vat and plenty of confidence to do it.


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