Aranya Naturals

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!

A day of smiles all around.

Chennai

First time in three weeks on my own.

I am staying in a B&B in Chennai. The caretaker only speaks Tamil and there is a young man helping him with limited English – fun adventure!

This morning I am going to attempt to get on a train to Auroville. I say attempt as I do not have a reservation.

It was a bittersweet parting from my Wholefoods Volunteer Team members – we did so much together and formed a strong bond.

At the same time by yesterday I was chomping at the bit to be on my own and have my own adventures.

We each had a number and would sound off to be sure we were all present – now I am a solitary #13!

Looks like a beautiful day outside – just waiting ’till 7:30 for breakfast and then I am off to visit Colours of Nature!

 

“Indigo”

Here is a short video of me working in the Vicenza Middle School, Vicenza Italy in March of 2013.

I worked with approximately 200 6th, 7th  & 8th graders doing Indigo/Shibori workshops.

http://vicenza.afneurope.net/Home/ArticleDisplayDD/tabid/657/aid/27850/Default.aspx.

Yarns for Indigo demos in Turkmenistan

Yarns for Indigo demos in Turkmenistan

I just finished dyeing sampling skeins for my indigo demos in Turkmenistan. I dyed with Cochineal (reds) and Fustic (yellows). The yarns are (from left) wool, silk, an organic cotton/bamboo blend and a cotton/rayon blend. For the demo they will be over-dyed with indigo for a beautiful range of purples and greens! The undyed skeins will give a range of indigo blues as each substrate will take the indigo differently.
If you would like to try this, these same dyes are featured on The Yarn Tree’s website

Official Invitation to Travel to Turkmenistan

Today I received my official invitation from the Government of Turkmenistan!

Here is a translation and I just had to include the beautiful seal that was on the document

Seal of TurkmenistanThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America in Turkmenistan and, with reference to the Embassy’s diplomatic note of April 12, 2012, has the honor to inform of the Turkmen side’s consent to a visit to Turkmenistan by Ms. Linda LaBelle, an expert and specialist in American textiles, weaving and crafts, on May 20 – 27, 2012, and to arranging requested meetings and presentations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the United States of America in Turkmenistan the assurances of its highest consideration.

Ashgabat, April 24, 2012.

 

Turkmenistan Here I Come!!

Map of Turkmenistan

I was recently invited to return to the Silk Road! The US Embassy in Turkmenistan contacted me on March 2nd and asked would I be interested in traveling to Turkmenistan at the end of May. My answer was a rousing YES! I will be there during the International carpet conference, and will have the opportunity to speak to women entrepreneurs and meet with craftspeople.

Flag of Turkmenistan
Flag of Turkmenistan

The Indigo Project

The Kickstarter campaign is 37% of the way there! $3770.00 has been raised. There is just a month left to reach the goal of $10,000.00. The Indigo Project needs your help!

Do you love textiles, the color blue, a good story, sustainability, helping others?

If the answer is yes – support The Indigo Project!

I have once again been invited to teach at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in the fall. I will be teaching three workshops: a weft Ikat to the original group of weavers from Sept 2010, a warp Ikat workshop to a new group of ten, and Michel Garcia’s method of making a reduction indigo vat.

In addition I plan on traveling to one of the last villages in Mexico that produces indigo. I expect to spend several weeks in the village interviewing the villagers and documenting the indigo production from the field to the indigo cake.

This means I could be in Mexico for up to two months. For all of this to happen I need to raise the funds.

There are two ways that you can donate – join the fun at Kickstarter and receive great rewards!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1038948236/stories-of-hope-the-indigo-project

Or if you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation or your company has matching grants then Fractured Atlas (the fiscal sponsor for Stories of Hope) is the way to go.

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/2928

What will this money be used for? Part of it will be used to produce a book on the indigo growers. This book will document the process from the fields to the indigo cake ready for market. Part of it will go to having both Stories of Hope –Oaxaca (http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2132961)and Stories of Hope –The Indigo Project translated into Spanish. Part of it will go to transportation, room and board for both myself and a translator. Part of it will go to pay the translator. Part of it will go to updating or adding equipment.

Why is this important? This is one of the last villages in Mexico to produce indigo and I feel very strongly that it is important to archive the process and tell the stories of the villagers. Indigo production has sustained them for generations, but this could all become lost as the younger generations leave the village to work in the US or Mexico City. It can become lost because this is a subsistence lifestyle and one bad crop can ruin the village financially. Last year there was too much rain and they were only able to produce a small amount of indigo.

It takes only one generation for knowledge to become forever lost. Twice in the past year I traveled to return to cultures craft techniques that had become lost to them.

Stories of Hope (www.madderlane.com) is making a difference in people’s lives and that is happening because of the generosity and support of people like you!

More info on José’s tapestry!

I have more info on Jose’s newest tapestry.
The dimensions are : 42cm x 42cm (approx. 17″ X 17″)
It’s been dyed with huizache (black), zacatlaxcalli (yellow), cochineal (red) and indigo (blue) combined.
The title is “4 tiempos en el aire” (4 Tempos in the Air), it was woven on a treadle loom with a sett of 16 threads per inch.
The price is 20,000 pesos (approx $1,730.00 USD + shipping)
90% of the sale price will go to Jose and 10% goes to my charity project Stories of Hope as seed money towards another scholarship.
It will be on display at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca for the month of June!
If you are interested in purchasing this beautiful piece please contact me linda@theyarntree.com

José’s woven piece is finished!

José Mendoza is the recipient of the 2011 Scholarship for Creativity & Experimentation from Stories of Hope. Between January and May José was to work on one piece that would be for display and for sale. He has completed the tapestry and has decided to have it framed in a shadow box as it is not very large (approx. 24″X24″).  José told me he has incorporated all the techniques he has learned from his learning to weave as a child up to his experiences today. The very fine yarns he worked with are all dyed with natural dyes. This tapestry will be on display at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca for the month of June. The tapestry is for sale and he will let me know what the price will be.  When the tapestry sells  José will keep 90% of the sale price with 10% going back to Stories of Hope as seed money towards the 2012 scholarship. If you are interested in purchasing José’s tapestry please e-mail me at linda@theyarntree.com

Tapestry by José Mendoza

I am so proud of José and his beautiful work!