Roots, bugs, bark and blossoms

Today things have started to come together. It takes a few days to start to feel at home..I know the bus line to the studio, where to get a good meal, a morning cup of coffee…all that stuff. I got to the Ballard district early enough to take a walk up and down the street…it’s a great shopping district, with small shops full of funky, artsy, hip things. There are lots of bars, eateries, a place called Tractor that serves up live music. It reminded me of The Boston Tea Party back in the 60’s in Boston. It had great tee shirts worthy of take home souveniers! Above is a photo of part of the Earthues shop. Class began at 10AM with 2 hours of teachings by Michele on raw dye stuffs such as cochineal bugs, madder root, osage bark, weld, quercitron bark and rooibos tea! Michele shared various silk, cotton and wool fabrics and yarns dyed with the different dyes while showing the effect mordants have on the fibers as well. Then we set about the project for the day which was to dye a controlled number of silk hankies, ayate (cotton mitts to use in the bath)and one long silk scarf. We had two mordant variables and 8 dye stuffs. We spent the afternoon working on that and when all the dye pots were exhausted of dye we left the fibers to set overnight and went out for a nice dinner at Lombardi’s, just up the street. We reconvened again for a few hours of slides from Michele and Kathy’s trip to Mali last August. They shared their tales travelling in that area of West Africa and the process that is used in creating Bogolanfini mud painting on cloth. This is an example of exceptional mudcloth painting.Weary but full of thoughts and visions of color on fibers I am signing off until tomorrow!