Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun in the Shade

Elizabeth Adams Marks returned the favor of the rust party at my house by setting up an indigo vat in her garden. I haven't worked with indigo since grad school and then I did little more than a couple of experiments. We played for a few hours on Saturday before we attended an opening at Art Saint Louis where she has a gorgeous paper piece in the Texture show.

The big shawl that Elizabeth rusted in my previous post, has now been transformed with indigo. Quite a striking change don't you think?  Actually, just realized I didn't post a pic of the finished rusted shawl.  The post only shows her sprinkling tea on the rotary hoe pieces.

Elizabeth's shawl just after rusting.

The other large piece is also Elizabeth's.  I was working small.  A couple of scarves, one of which had been previously rusted, a scrap of cotton, a t-shirt and a small piece of rayon that I composted several years ago.

This is a piece of cotton previously (but lightly) rusted.  Did a little popsicle stick clamping to get this pattern. For those of you who have worked with indigo this may seem like small potatoes to you, but I got a little thrill out of the magic that was made when the color oxidized and when I unbound the goodies.

Arashi shibori scarf -- just pure indigo on a new scarf.  Love the color variation resulting from the folded layers.

This my favorite piece however. Just a small sueded rayon scrap about 15" big that had previously been composted with walnuts.  There was a lot of light creamy areas left in the design which allowed the pure indigo to shine through.  I preserved some of the brown with rubberbanded circles, other parts of the walnut turned very dark.  The fabric is translucent.   Very much would like to do more indigo with some of my old compost experiments.  But it will have to wait till after I get several pieces done for an upcoming show.


  1. i love building up layers of colour.

  2. So inspiring! I love the combination of indigo and rust.

  3. We'll move the vat to the wet studio in my basement for the winter. I indigo dyed more paper on Sunday with hopes of adding rust and salt crystals this weekend.


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