Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Madder Paint for Fireman Jackets.

It is great to have a group of my old friends/students back at the house for two weeks to make Japanese fireman jackets together. Everyone is up late at night sewing and drinking and getting to know each other. Spring is delicate and heavenly right now. Julie the cat had four kittens a few days back. Everything is magic.

We climbed up the mountain and looked down on the house from a new angle.

We are making our own madder root paste paint for the designs on the back of the jacket. Looks like the recipe was nailed right on and we will have a lot of crimson red natural paint to work with. We filter the liquid through coffee filters to get the pure alizarin pigment.

Digging bamboo sprouts with Truus for lunch.

Indigo fields down by the river prepared for transplanting the seedlings in a few weeks.

View from the driveway. So green today.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Indigo Seeds

The house is quiet.

Thank you Shelly, Malou, Min, Debbie, David, Caroline, Sophie, Clare, Heather and Meg.

So much good will and laughter. Thank you.

The indigo you helped plant twelve days ago has poked its head above the soil this afternoon.

It was a pleasure spending these early cherry-blossom-laden days with you. Shelly was up late dyeing at the indigo vat the night before she left. Her hard work is floating in the breeze. Almost dry. I will fold it up and send it off to you.

There were many beautiful things coming out of the indigo vat the past two weeks. I was too busy to take pictures. Please send me some. Especially the mokume and pole wrapped shawls.

I did get a picture of Meg's them. Perhaps I should ask the workshop members to incorporate their astrological signs in the pattern.

Safe travels to you all.

Bryan & Hiro & Momo & Geiger & Julie..still full of kittens.

PS, someone forgot their "how-to-fix" piece.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Making Indigo Balls.

We planted indigo seeds on Monday with the arrival of springs first workshop. It was  a good get-to-know-you-shoulder-to-shoulder activity.  The cherry blossoms are out.  The garden is so fresh. Fresh salad leaf already.

Last week the indigo in the fermentation leaf box was smelling up the yard. The indigo buddies got together and opened it up to find perfectly fermented indigo.

We took turns crushing it in a wooden mortar with the wooden pestle. Yumbo kun, being the Mr Muscle of the crowd thrilled us with his performance.

The indigo paste was divided into 100 gram balls and rolled and pressed by hand.

We will ferment the indigo in a vat as soon as it is warm enough. It takes a year and a half from seed to vat.