It was a blue sky over goldenrod kind of day in Vancouver, which is to say one of the best kinds of days in this lovely city. We lucky folks got to play with a vat of indigo lovingly prepared by MOP artist in residence Catherine Shapiro and her co-conspirator Gloria Tsui.
The location is Trillium Park in Vancouver, bordered by busy soccer fields and a semi-industrial part of east Vancouver near the train station. We are in an area beside a container fitted out as a Fabrication Station, suitable for all sorts of creative pursuits.
While we worked with dye, Rebecca Graham processed locally grown flax fibres, creating a luxurious flax 'stache.
We tied marbles and nuts into the fabric, stitched and clamped it to create areas that would resist the indigo dye.
There are many recipes for indigo dye pots, and Gloria and Catherine have been growing indigo and experimenting with it for months.
We snacked on a potluck "blue feast" while dyeing and waiting between dips for the dye to oxidize. The deepest blues you see in indigo cloth can be dipped over a series of months.
Clipping provided the most resistance and the more dramatic patterns.
We worked with scoured cotton, but I brought along a pale green piece of thrift store silk to work with too.
Oliver is proud of his indigo sky.
East West brought in special violet blue potatoes by request and Catherine made a potato salad.
We didn't eat the blue tomatoes because they are not ripe and "didn't taste too great".
Gloria's fromage blue sur endives avec poire et noisettes: formidable!
Hey, my hands match my jeans!
This was the indigo we used, from MAIWA.
This is what the plant looks like dried.
As Rebecca broke the flax, with a rhythmic wacking sound of wood on wood, David Gowman and friends hammered and chiseled on paulownia wood to make musical horns.
It was like we were part of a village before the industrial revolution!
This is an empress tree growing on the site. Just like the MOP Garden site, materials grown here are made into art. Soon this tree will be chiselled into a musical instrument. Someone should write a song about that. Oh wait, they already did.
A little caterpillar friend came to visit.
I've been informed that this is not the case--Trillium Park is outside the proposed re-route. Phew!
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