Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ai remembered

My class at Arrowmont with Roland Ricketts is over and I want to remember it all. It was a dear week with many opportunities to learn. I have recorded some images here to help me remember, and perhaps repeat the steps on my own.

The pieces at right are some of my final ones. All used the rice paste resist to create pattern. Two show my attempt to copy Roland's gradiant techniques with one small circular resist.

This shows where we hung our pieces to dry after the final dip in the vat and an over-night soak to clean off unwanted plant material.

There is still much to do to render these useful.

Roland, Alysha, rice balls are steaming.

Indigo leaves ready for the dye vat, from Roland's indigo crop in Indiana

Roland mixes the rice paste by hand.

Roland dips a piece of fabric in the prepared dye vat.

Part of our amazing studio space at Arrowmont

Rice paste ready to apply

Roland demonstrates application of the resist using a moiré stencil hand cut by Alysha

My first attempts to carve stencils

My most advanced carved stencil, originally intended to be free-floating circles but I liked the bridges and kept them.

Roland demonstrates matching stencil pattern on wet resist

Applying saw dust to aid in the drying of the resist

Roland's resist dries outdoors

Preparing to dip in the dye vat

Headed into the dye vat - timing was critical to keep resist from dissolving

My darkest piece - 13 dips. The piece underneath has been dipped 3 times.

Clever use of sticks to suspend pieces in the dye vat

Though I wore gloves for the most part, I did dip once without the gloves. All washed off except on my nails.

Roland's work - real art pieces - even more beautiful in real life.

Ai = Indigo


  1. Wow! That looks so interesting and fun!

  2. It looks like such a fascinating class. I love your circles design. It turned out really well.

  3. What an interesting post. I've not read about indigo dying before, so this is intriguing. Your pieces look very good. I especially like the circles. The final photo, of Roland's work, is amazing. Beautiful!

  4. What a wonderful experience. I didn't know about Arrowood, and it's so close to Asheville! The workshops are very reasonable for a week too. I need to check this out.

  5. Nice work! I really like your circle stencil. Sounds like a fantastic workshop.

  6. What fun to get to work with Roland! I love your pieces. They turned out great!

    My little patch of ai is growing well and if we get some good weather should be ready for a vat in a few weeks or so. Can't wait! I don't grow enough to compost properly so I just use it just-picked. Unfortunately it doesn't get concentrated as much but I do get some lovely lighter blues.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful experience for you--I look forward to seeing how you decide to use these beautiful pieces!

  8. That looks like a fabulous class and a lot of fun. Great pieces.

  9. a wonderful sense of the workshop! thank you.

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  11. You did a beautiful job! I wish I had been there. I've worked with rice paste and have cut stencils, but haven't used Indigo….nor the combination. I was at Arrowmont just a year ago for a wonderful class with Elin Noble. It is a terrific facility!


  12. I wrote a comment already, but it has disappeared. If two come up - you will know why. I just want to say that a class with Roland Ricketts seems to be very worth while.
    I also want to thank you for posting so many informative photos about your time with him, and also congratulate you on your success with the indigo and the rice paste process. I may come back to look at this post again. x