Tuesday, 13 January 2015

rhapsodies in blue

it was easy planning my clothes for this trip
all i had to do was throw anything blue into the suitcase
and then at the other end
take a daily lucky dip and wriggle into it
[too hot and steamy for boots]
packing the materials was another thing
handstitching indigo-dyed ecoprint bags
and stuffing them with selections from my cloth collection
was fun
[though i will say counting beads can be confusing for a bear]
and happily the baggage-mishandlers did not play football with my suitcase
because the blue-and-white teacups that were to stop the beads rolling off the tables all happily arrived intact.
Roz and i both brought fabrics from our homes and had a glorious time decorating the workroom on the afternoon before class
our wonderful host Tarla had grown all sorts of indigo-bearing plants
as well as madder [which is most useful in reducing an organic vat]
 you could almost think you were in Japan, with such fields
Tarla and her daughters prepared delicious food for us
with fresh ingredients sourced from the garden
where a Satin Bower Bird had busily gathered blues
from the surrounding district
 we looked at ways in which we could bring our blues together
sharing stories about the meaning of this beautiful colour
reading a little poetry
considering what the colour meant to us as individuals
 we stitched, experimented with fresh indigo
worked with the metals that Roz had brought
made string
and at the very end
overdyed the finished pieces in the gloriously rich vat
that Tarla had prepared earlier
thank you, all of you, for making it such a splendid three days

not yet saturated with the blues?
here are more stories
a few more links via our shared blue bower


  1. I saw the first shared blues bits (on BBB site) and started feeling blue.... now I've really got the low down green-eyed blues.... sooooooooooooooooooo lovely (sooooooo jealous!) time for my usual catch cry of *one day* .....

    1. You could grow some indigo.....?


    2. I have the seeds.... I have the inclination..... I will have to find the time and the right advice... but if I plant them do you think I might be able to lure some mighty blues peeps for a visit? ;-)

    3. i can't speak for Roz but Kubbi and I are roadtripping to Glenmore House in May [2 + 3] for Mickey Robertson's fabulous open garden days...we could pootle south on the way home as long as we're back in South Australia in time to install the "in situ" exhibition!

  2. How wonderful blue..............

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you. And I have to say the blue does wonderful things for the soul.

  4. dizzy blues makes you feel settled and strong.

  5. love seeing all the cloths waving blue on the line!

  6. Wow! How glorious... and how amazing to have such a fabulous patch of indigo and so many different plants available!

  7. Such a visual FEAST this Blue thing!!

  8. And the Bowerbirds…..never in my life. What inspiration. Fine Job, Ladies!

  9. Tarla must be lucky for using her indigo the great work she had done and the food she are already member at the group of Norma i wounder are you doing it the same way as michael garcia or is it another reciepe or a secret?

    1. For the big vat Tarla extracted indigo from fresh plants, processed it to blue and then reduced it using Michel Garcia's 1:2:3 method

      For the fresh we used the freezing technique I developed in Portland in 2013