Monday, July 30, 2018


there's this quote 
that found me this week.
about spirituality. but
but i say, it's about creativity, too.
it's about the thing
that wakes you up (past the murky-sludgy stage if you're like me)
and says 
"LOOK goddammit"
and get out the stuff and make that thought.
word made flesh.
thought made materiality.
maybe the language of spirit isn't far from the language of making.
Authentic spirituality is revolutionary. It does not legitimate the world, it breaks the world; it does not console the world, it shatters it. And it does not render the self content, it renders it undone. 
Ken Wilber
so, I've been working on several things this while,
~ the madder dyeing
~ a couple botanical contact prints for my indigo shifu
~ tending a new small garden at the new place
~ finishing the cleanup and label of ALL the fiber
~ finding yarns for my new pipe loom
~ sorting cloth for Zone 4, 
my own work, 
and my fall papermaking class at SLU
~ i'm going to Vancouver to Maiwa to take the
five day dye workshop.

 i want to have a more methodological dye experience,
to have a deeper understanding of the basics and then more,
something i never had, 
except with chemical dyes.
in the mid 70's.
this week's red daylily flowers
prompted the first quarter sheet contact prints in quite a long time. 
 i got out my camera
(after realizing that my little red one has some lens damage)
 and took a few photos of the garden
after i removed it.
the working metal 
and the newly dyed papers 
being rinsed
and then drying. 
i tried hard to adjust the color
and just achieved more weirdness
there was a lot of green. 
here the four are in blotters, under weighs 
 and dried, they look more like this
 the exhaust dyebaths from my 35 year old madder
yielded some lovely pastels
on linen cloths
 and on silk
 this is the rest of the madder
the first dyebath yielded the deep rose 
and then the oranges 
and then the cloths
and finally the above bits.
 i mordanted with alum and cream of tarter
and here are different fibers
both cellulose and protein
the big skein on the left is a darker rose.
how do real photographers get their colors right??? 
the last five red daylilies as i begin a bundle.
If you see some wonky spacing here,
blogger seems to be struggling lately and sending up weirdness each time i post.
of course today, monday,
i have errands-a broken vacuum
-my right rear tire picked up a 1.5 " finishing nail
and had embedded it.
yes, my second set of new tires this year
and the same spot, though different tire as the one that had
three nails simultaneously in it last year.
and it's the one that had been replaced because of that.
apparently i ride on back roads in the country
where people haul around their waste


  1. good morning, all your results are lovely. my madder plants turned 3 years old this summer so I am anxious to try them out-love your colors and I love your prints
    oh wow a workshop at Maiwa sounds awesome

  2. your world seems a bit like mine at the moment. but more productive.

  3. Gorgeous photos and sooo happy that you're going to Maiwa. Sucks to read about the nail in your tire and at first read, I thought you said you had a nail embedded in your ear! My brain needs to settle down and settle in to work, engage in the now and what is at hand. Sending love. C

  4. hi kathy, i hope to hear how your madder turns out. did you read sarah swett's post a couple weeks back about harvesting and using new+old roots?
    jude, i am happily productive, till my tire sprouts a leak or something else gets in the way.
    christine, me TOO!!!!! the nail in my ear may be the reason i can't think straight.

  5. Glorious creativity! You got amazing color and texture. Made me hungry to be dyeing again. Monday here too and the predicted heat and humidity s3vn to ten day wave is arriving late tonight in New York. Meanwhile a nice enough day and a weekly writing session with pen pals tonight is on my schedule

  6. mo, i was so excited to get good color!
    michelle, happy color me! i hate the humidity we've had this summer. worse than we've had in some time.

  7. love those madder colours. Think I need to dig up my little patch this fall, it has been in the ground longer than 3 years.

  8. oh wow Velma - those years in the madder took my breath away - simply stunning as they appear on my screen; must be stunnier in the flesh! Also love that you are taking that class - I often think I have never learned anything properly - so much of what i know I have gleaned; and I honestly don't know some of the most basic of things; reasons and why' a proper sit down and soaking in it week sounds great! Sorry for the tyres - bummer.

  9. To know as much as you do about dyeing and keep on learning nonetheless ...

  10. jean, you will have such a blast with those roots.
    fiona, the madder was old, but to be clear the fiber was only in the dyebaths a normal amount of time. i know what you mean, it's why i really need to do this.
    liz, you are very sweet, but i know so little. having said this i will tell you that i have dyed some oddball things, including porcupine quills with umbilicaria lichen.

  11. Glorious results with the madder & garden, love the blues in the photos. Maiwa sounds very swell.

  12. ps. That has been written down and is being thought & thought on.

  13. hazel, i hope maiwa is swell, it's a huge and wonderful opportunity! i like that quote too, because it DOES require thinking on.

  14. I hope Maiwa is everything you hope.
    Velma, you have been so busy! It is inspiring. xo

  15. judy, i'm never so busy as the woman who travels hundreds of kilometers to go everywhere!


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