Intro. to Indigo


Intro. to Indigo

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

2003 marked the 150th anniversary of Commodore Perry’s first expedition to Japan. In honor of that event, the NC Japan Center had several activities which included an Indigo dyeing and shibori workshop with Rowland and Chinami Ricketts. It was held at the NC State School of Design. I signed up for a one day workshop and wound up doing it for two.

I cannot remember if I’ve actually seen dyers at work in Kagoshima or not. I remember the weavers and that they rinsed and stretched their long swaths of fabric in front of my house. Of course, I visited in the tiny “apartments” of the guild almost daily. They may have dyed their thread there as well, but at this point, I don’t remember. I was a child then. However, I did feel a strong connection with that past when I worked with indigo that weekend, so I’ve continued to work with it since.

It has now been 5 years since that weekend. I was reminded of it again when I saw Roland’s work, an indigo dyed noren in January at the Fiberart International held at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.

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