3 Day Workshop - Indigo

February 2015

Stokers Siding, The Tweed Valley, Northern NSW 

Workshop Cost  -  $550


This workshop will be similar to the Melbourne indigo workshop except that we hope to be able to use the fermented indigo vat already set up in the longer 10 day workshop in Stokers Siding.  We would prefer to run this as a four-day-long workshop rather than three days long, as introducing both fructose and fermented indigo and being able to use both will be very instructive but will take longer than the original fructose indigo workshop.

Indigo is one of the oldest and most magical of all the natural dyes.  It is the colour of the sky and the sea, and in many cultures indigo-dyed cloth was considered sacred and precious.  As we become more and more conscious of what we wear and where it comes from, plant-based, non-chemical indigo dye is experiencing a resurgence. This dyestuff is Aboubakar Fofana's particular passion, and he has a vast store of knowledge on its provenance, usage, and of course, practical applications.

This workshop will focus on powdered indigo and setting up a fructose vat using entirely non-chemical and environmentally (and skin!) friendly techniques.  Unlike indigo leaves, powdered indigo is quite easy to source, and the fructose vat is also relatively straightforward to put together and to use.  This workshop will explain the unique chemistry of indigo, principles of setting up and caring for a fructose vat, as well as choice and preparation of the textile to be dyed. Over three days, participants will be shown how to prepare powdered indigo and how to set up the dye-vat, dye a set of samples, and work on a larger project with Aboubakar's assistance.

We will also be using the fermented vegetable indigo vat set up in a previous workshop.  Participants will be introduced to the principles behind a fully-fermented indigo vat, and will have an opportunity to make a set of samples from this vat.  Please be aware that fermented indigo can exhaust quickly and needs to be given time and love to recuperate, so there may be limited access depending on how healthy the vat is and how carefully she is used. We may even have two vats!

This workshop will also include an introduction to simple shibori and resist-patterning techniques which are suitable for use with indigo.  Participants will come away with enough knowledge to set up their own vats and start working with indigo, as well as a deeper understanding of how indigo works and how to achieve the best colour-fast, light-fast and even  results with this ancient and singular dye-stuff.

All sample materials and dye-stuffs will be included in the cost, but participants will need to bring their own small project to work on.  Details will be sent out – however Aboubakar will have some handspun and handwoven organic Malian cotton available for purchase, and we are also hoping to make small quantities of suitable shawl-lengths available for participants.

The maximum number of participants for this workshop is 8 people, which allows Aboubakar to give individual attention to each participant and guide them through their project.

To book a place, please contact Johanna at johanna.macnaughtan@gmail.com or call 0448 100 496 . If the workshop is full, you will be put on a waiting list.  If there is enough interest, we would prefer to run this as a four day workshop, or we may open another workshop – please let us know whether you would prefer a three-day or four-day workshop.  A three-day workshop will be $550, four days would be $650.  If you are booking this workshop in conjunction with the mineral mud-dye workshop, a $75 discount will be applied.

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