On our last full day at Lucky Star we always have the afternoon off to swim or ride horses or get a massage or whatever, which means all of the classes are just 3 or 4 hours long. So, how were we to learn all we needed to know about the art of Shibori folding and tying, and the mixing and processing of indigo dye baths, and still have time left to actually make anything? Well, you'd be surprised!
Our class was to be held in the pottery shed that day, behind the gorgeous wall of hand glazed tiles made by past campers.
Our instructor, Erin Lane (no relation, as far as I know), is a high school art teacher in Austin. That's Erin there on the left below, mixing our indigo dye bath. Somehow I failed to take a single picture of her from the waist up!
As you can see, the rains came down with a vengeance the night before, and the smart campers came prepared with waterproof footwear. (Note to self: add Wellies to Christmas wish list!)
Guess what Erin had waiting for each of us when we walked in?
The interesting thing is that the dye bath is actually green when you first mix it. Once Erin had given us a little tutorial on a few of the many, many Shibori folding and wrapping techniques, we dampened our little packets with water, dropped them into the warm dye bath, snapped on a tight fitting lid to keep the air out, and let them soak for 10 or 15 minutes.
Then we removed the bundles, placed them on a drying rack, and let the "magic" happen -- for it's the exposure to oxygen that causes the dye to turn from green to deep indigo blue.
When you first unwrap the bundles you have this amazing ombre effect going from light green to deep blue. "Stop! I want mine to stay just like this! I don't want it to turn solid blue!" Alas, that wasn't an option.
And then, we ran off to tie up and dye any and every thing white we could get our eager little hands on!
I ended up with a new blouse for moi, the Hill Country Hippy (made from an old one, which was starting to yellow), several scarves for my HCH friends...
and the cutest little onsie ever, for my HCH grandchild-to-be!
And now, here's a little something for you, in case you ever want to try this yourself!