I did mention earlier that I’ve been processing the various things I’ve learned over last month. Teaching indigo at Artspace and again in Beaufort has given me things to ponder and I’ve been eager to return to my studio to try out the vat on my own again.
It’s one thing to pull a vat “together” for teaching purposes and certainly another when things can move more deliberately in the home studio. Indigo doesn’t like to be rushed and I think that’s true in whatever form it comes, in whatever approach the dyer takes with it. There’s a certain “aliveness” or spirit to it (I feel).
This week, since returning home, depth of color has been the fascination. I still haven’t spent the time it takes, but the results were satisfying enough – for the moment. The week’s first vat was with synthetic indigo, then today, with a friend, we experimented with pre-reduced indigo and compared the two.
It goes without saying that the pre-reduced indigo (Jacquard’s package) works well (A+!). I don’t know how long I’ll be able to maintain it without feeding, but that’s the point…to find out. It’s easy to use, after pouring water at the appropriate temperature into a bucket (not a pot), one simply adds the indigo and mix of ingredients in the package and stir gently. It’s ready to dye with in about 15 minutes. It’s an easy solution for the classroom or workshop context.
The dyeing experience was very pleasing as was the deep color contrast I was looking for. I still wonder though, how deep can it go? I’m working on that.