Kaki & Indigo


Kaki & Indigo
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It’s summer. No doubt about it. I wondered how long it would take before it started behaving like it.   We began with usually low temps for its start.  Of course, now, we’re in the steam.  Yesterday, I said to my self, “embrace it” and I did (meaning pay attention to those small things you love about it). It seemed to work.

What do I love about summer? I wait for it to arrive every year. Apart from the buzzing, trilling and blooming life, so abundant in this season, it offers the perfect temperatures to work with color, dyes and especially indigo.  it’s what I look forward to every year.  Indigo is at its best this time of year だそうです。

Kakishibu is another of those colorants that needs at least the dry weather (and probably the sun), so summer or summer’s end is my association for working with it.  I’ve had questions about it  and it’s characteristics, plus its integration with indigo. It’s one thing to understand intellectually how a thing works and another to experience it – at least for me.  Last summer, when I was ready for that exploration, it rained. So this year, I decided that it was whenever the sun came out.  This week we had sun.

So the above are some small samples that answer a few of those lingering questions. They’re simply a reference with information I can use later.  Also, I’m thinking ahead to teaching some youth at Artspace in a few weeks, so I’m considering, again, my approach.  Pattern is definitely one element I’ll be attempting to teach.  They’ll go their own way, as usual and that’s how it should be.  Mostly, I look for engagement not an end result.

Vocab.:  山道・山みち・やまみち・yama michi – mountain path – that “squiggly,” zig-zag pattern on the right hand sample above.

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4 Responses to “Kaki & Indigo”

  1. Ronia Marie Says:

    I enjoy your posts and I love what you’re doing. I feel the need to get my hands “back in the blue”…. it’s been too long!

  2. neki rivera Says:

    do you find it alters the ai color? i’ve only painted it on ai dyed cloth.

    • Susan Says:

      somewhat…depends on the “context” or something – depth of hue of the “kaki” or perhaps indigo. Even the kind of fiber makes a difference, it seems.

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