I made it clear to at least one of my 3-4 assistants today that shibori and indigo dyeing is not really the intense and frenzied experience it felt like today at some points. This image also doesn’t honestly reflect the few hours I spent at Artspace this afternoon. None of the pictures I took really captured that essence.
I’d arrived later than I’d wanted (of course), as on the way down realized I didn’t have an important ingredient for the “soup” and had to stop for it (good thing it came to mind). Of course, that took a few precious minutes.
My concern always is, when I set up for indigo, the time factor. Indigo needs time to work properly as it seems to be temperamental or sensitive (it really does seem to be “alive” at times). It has to be nurtured. So, I was under the gun but it responded well in that creative environment and we had a nice potent vat.
Then the kids and families started drifting in for this hands on Japanese tie/dye experience. The kids bound 12-inch cotton squares with rubber bands or glass “pebbles” to make simple patterns that received a quick dip in the indigo. It was a too brief encounter with the experience but they seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
Before I knew it, we had lines and it felt a bit frantic as my assistants and I hurried to open their bound pieces and put them in bags to carry home. The pace never really slowed until it was time to stop and quickly clean up. In spite of the seeming craziness, it was a lot of fun and the kids and parents seemed to be very appreciative. Arigato to all who contributed to its success: assistants, Lia & Artspace.