I am completely over the moon!! My indigo garment has been accepted for an exhibition in Tokushima, Japan!
The piece is titled Blueness/Oneness. The inspiration came from many places.
First, seeing a beautiful piece by my friend Pavrita Shyam (who I met at IndigoSutra in Calcutta, India) began several conversations about Kalamkari techniques.
This led to my spending several months doing many experiments with various natural binders, indigo stock solutions and curing times on cotton cloth.
Culminating in Blueness/Oneness. A cloth with many personal connections.
In this garment I bring together the style of the Mexican Huipile – influenced by my many trips to Oaxaca to teach Indigo dyeing and other workshops at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.
Often the Huipile is made from one piece of handwoven cloth – so too is the Indian Sari one piece of handwoven cloth!
Next – the natural binder of High Fat Milk and Myrobalan used by the Kalamkari artists of India allows me to paint on the muslin (cotton cloth) woven in India.
Indigo powder from an amazing NGO in Bangladesh – Living Blue – is used to make the stock solution.
Silk threads from China are dyed with Japanese Indigo from my garden. They are used for Sashiko stitching (a Japanese technique) to embellish the garment.
And finally my adaptation of my friend Michele Wipplinger’s Indigo stock solution formula!
Putting all this together with my own design sense and we have Blueness/Oneness! A coming together – a celebration – of many cultures!
The exhibition will take place Jan 18 – 26, 2020 in Tokushima, Japan.
Bunka no Mori Event Hall, 21st Century Building, Bunkanomori Park
Mukoterayama-1, Hachimancho, Tokushima City
Tokushima Prefecture, Tokushima, Japan 770-8070
Also I will be teaching this technique and more at Aranya Natural in Munnar, Kerala, Southern India in Feb 2020 at their 25th Anniversary Celebration.
For more information click HERE
The last days of my trip to India were spent at the Srishti Welfare Center visiting the Aranya Natural Dye Unit. The Center is located in Munnar, Kerala, Southern India nestled in the midst of a tea plantation. I worked with the amazing artisans to help them create three new colors for their palette of natural dyes. It had been five years since my last visit – it was wonderful to see them – there was so much catching up to do!
I also brought back lots of beautiful scarves they had dyed and a few handmade journals from the paper making unit, Athulya.
The sale of the scarves and journals benefit both Srishti and Stories of Hope!
You can purchase these beautiful items on The Yarn Tree’s website:
This is my last morning in India – sunshine and blue skies welcome Diwali – the Festival of Lights!
Here in Kerala it is a one day festival – other parts of India celebrate for five days.
Fireworks and firecrackers, special tiny terra cotta cups are decorated and filled with oil and a wick then a lit to give a beautiful soft light to everything. People shop for gifts, new clothes, gold jewelry and special sweets!
Last night I attended an amazing Diwali party – I had never seen so many beautiful Saris in one place. Even some of the men wore more traditional Indian Garb. There was even a mini-flash mob doing Bollywood dances – they had practiced for a week and it was a great surprise for everyone.
Yesterday the artisans of Aranya and I made one more color and tried different over dyeing techniques on the silk scarves we had previously dyed. Can’t wait until I can once again upload pictures to show everyone their beautiful work.
I am so thankful for my time here and look forward to returning.
Rainy day in Munnar – worked at Aranya with the wonderful folks making color.
Today we worked on lovely silk scarves dyeing shades of soft purple and magenta using Lac and Cochineal. Tomorrow we will make those same colors on superior Pashmina. We will also try for a lavender. The dyers were so excited to create new colors with me and I am so happy to be working with them again.
It was so much fun to see all the new techniques they have learned – some of their own creation. They loved showing me what they were doing – shibori, dip dyeing, block printing, sewing and pressing and more was going on. Great color combinations – everything so beautiful!
We have all been very busy cleaning and painting while waiting for the playground Wholefoods donated to arrive. It has been stuck at the Bangladesh border for days due to a strike. We have been told it will arrive today!
The 61 children were broken up into 13 groups.
I’d like to introduce you to my group who range in age from 5 to 11: