Thursday, 26 July 2012

San Francisco days, San Francisco nights


after the immersion, i carried that heavy wet thing home
[the selkie wanders still]
and along the trail back
rested it on some rusty stuff by a bunker


and slightly cleaned a copper post
[which added a green smudge]
gathered a graphite smudge 


 stopped to gaze at a favourite bridge


 then after the day was done
 more marks were added 
using mud from the Bay


and a stencil or two
[but NOT my fingers]



those colourful patches are from the testing i did on the cloth
seeing how it took colour from onionshells
together with various home-brewed mordants


it isn't exactly a typical Alabama Chanin embellishment
but i did construct the dress using a pattern from her gorgeous book


 then i covered it with my gatherings from the streets
[who would have thought that picking up one leaf or berry at a time
would have resulted in such a harvest]



 so it looked like this


those scraps on the pile are the remaining offcuts
hoping they will pick up colour
so i can add them at the end
- then i shall have used up the whole piece of fabric
[waste not, want not]

then
i rolled it up and tied it tightly
[this took about an hour]


and realised the bundle was too big for the travel cauldron
so i nipped out to Japantown
where
for the investment of about $5
i acquired two baking trays
a wire grill [to put inside]
and a handful of metal clips
[to attach one tray to the other]



naturally this couldn't be put on the stove
so
another solution had to be found




now it's a matter of slow cooking
on and off until Saturday
when i catch the train to Los Angeles
perhaps it will get a boil up in Goleta

but after that it will rest until August 9th
[the day i fly out]
unless i can convince a friend to keep it in his shed until the Fall
i will be unwrapping it in a private ceremony
at Moss Beach
and asking the four winds to dry it for me
so i can take it home


38 comments:

  1. India you are amazing...............

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  2. woweeee - so much to treasure in this post - I lurve the piccie of the dress with all the treasures on top (just prior to a good wrapping) --- and how clever to pop the bundle in double baking trays!!!..... tres amazement!

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    1. it looked like one of those things we used to make for the local show as kiddies, you know...the sand tray with all the flowers arranged to look like a micro garden. there was a bit of sand involved here, too

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  3. How absolutely fabulously cool is that?! AC's books are amazing, I love the appliques that you sewed on to the dress. Oh how I wish I could be there with you (I'd bring a bottle of wine of course) for the unveiling. Can't wait to see photos. You are amazing India.

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    1. Natalie Chanin's books are beautifully designed as well as being useful. and i love what she writes about "loving the thread". it really helps!

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  4. My favourite dress of yours to date. All those +++'s. My fave symbol... xxx

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    1. a beautiful and simple symbol that is as old as time...

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  5. How ironic, I discovered the baking trays and rack when I tried to print on larger pieces of paper than my pots would hold. Works great in the oven.

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    1. the idea isn't new for me - i've dyed things in old lidded baking trays in mud ovens in the past and also buried in pits of glowing coals [which takes a leap or two of faith, let me assure you!]...so it was the first thing i thought of when i realised that the way i'd wrapped the dress [and with all that vegetation] precluded the use of the sputnik travel cauldron

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  6. Oh my gosh! I've just discovered the joys of using a crock pot to dye stuff, but the oven...who would have thought?!?

    Can't wait to the dress all unrolled and ready to wear.

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    1. something i'd only do using natural days from plants i know are not toxic as the oven walls seem to collect deposits from all sorts of vapours...

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  7. Wonderful. I am so so looking forward to your London workshop next month.

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  8. Stunning. Thank you for showing us that we can find whatever we need at our feet.

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    Replies
    1. it's as my friend Sandra Brownlee says..."everything we need is HERE"

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  9. phoenix work frock looks delicious; eagerly await full disclosure.

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    Replies
    1. fingers crossed then...luckily with all those crosses already in place, it won't really matter what else is [or isn't] on the surface

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  10. Amazing that all that rolled in to one, small-looking bundle.... but, that is life, isn't it?

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    1. it's over three feet long, i rolled from the shoulders to the bottom hem

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  11. It is going to be eye opening to see your frock unfurled.

    xo

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    1. there'll be a few excited seagulls i should think. except i suspect they will be disappointed the contents aren't lunch!

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  12. WOW.....wuda story! Inspiring me to at least get another frock cut out! ox

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    1. DO. i think her patterns are timeless and designed to make us women look wonderful

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  13. Such a lovely story to wake to. Not sure why it brought tears to my eyes, probably due to its shear simplicity. Peerless nirvana. Looking forward to seeing this some day. xo

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    1. bless you petal i shall bring it to Aotearoa next summer
      and
      you'll see it
      in sausage form
      next week xo

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  14. This has to be the most incredible tale of dressmaking that I have ever before seen. There is, truly, no substitution for trusting the process, is there...it's the navigator's map when sailing in the dark.

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    1. how the waves are lapping the prow
      and where the seagulls are hanging out
      should give fair warning of landfall

      i'm really loving the process
      and
      the dress
      no matter how it turns out. it's my story, written in cloth. the fact that the pattern was designed by someone else is just like having a journal that was constructed to a pre-existing pattern. the bones are there, but i'm putting flesh on em.

      and it feels good.

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  15. The more difficult to find is a free mind. thank you for the demonstration.

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  16. tasty casserole - I recognise some favourites in the toppings. Really enjoyed this story from the beginning to the anticipated reveal. x

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    1. those mahonia berries look quite similar to the berberis berries that drop on the side of your summer roads...

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  17. your journey to add so many layers to this dress (literally and figuratively) is just awe-inspiring. it will truly be a priceless wardrobe piece when you are done.

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    1. however it turns out
      will be special for me

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  18. We will all be sitting on the fence waiting for the reveal!

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  19. how inventive, creative and inspirational!

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  20. Love love love the way this dress is turning out India. I also loved all the replies and your answers.xxxlyndayou are an amazing inspirational woman India and l am so upset l am not meeting you overt here in UKxxlynda

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