Part of the fun of teaching a new workshop is the research (aka play) that goes into developing a curriculum and a process. Michelle Belto and I have a chance to teach a class in indigo, shibori and rust dyeing for Vivi Magoo at The Prairie in early November, and we jumped at the chance. I had done shibori and rust dying, but had not worked much with indigo (OK, I so had never worked with indigo, but don’t tell anybody).
Like learning most new things, learning indigo dye techniques was a combination of asking people how to do it and practicing on my own. It’s an amazing substance – this plant has been used for dyeing since 2400 BC, and maybe earlier. Cakes of indigo were used as currency in the Revolutionary War. Once dyed, indigo is so colorfast that it can last for centuries or even millennia. Here’s a video of my first indigo adventure.
I have a lot more to learn about creating color with indigo, but yesterday I worked on learning some basic techniques, mixing the indigo properly, and experimenting using paper and fabric. The deep blue-greenish color is a natural partner for the terra-cotta shades of rust dyeing. I really can’t wait to teach these classes at the retreat and share this wonderful process! Hope you’ll think about joining us at Vivi Magoo at The Prairie on November 3rd. I promise that it won’t make you blue – well, maybe it will.