about the artist

Aerobic Shibori

I am a very tired old lady tonight. I had a marathon dyeing day with the big old natural indigo pot. Here it is being readied for the day’s activities. The sludge which lies on the top has to be removed and saved to be put back in at the end.


Here is one of the pvc pipes with an arashi wrap that has been dyed in the big pot.


Imagine a pole a couple of inches wider that that one and about 5 feet tall which is what I use to wrap a large silk charmeuse scarf. Silk requires several dips in the pot and then oxidation in between. While this gigantic pole is in the pot, it must be held so that it does not touch the bottom where it will disturb the sludge that develops over time. I think I dipped it about 10 -12 times. Here is the resulting scarf hanging to dry. It is the large scarf on the left.


I did several other pieces and pulled the threads on some pieces that I made yesterday. I am just too pooped to take photos so you will have to wait. Here is my old lime green t-shirt transformed, however.


We could only use the natural indigo until 2 pm and then we had to put the scum back in and add some lime to bring it back to life and then it needs to rest overnight. Here it is all bubbling and full of life. The slimy stuff is called the flower.


This is a college level class for which one can get credit and so a final project is expected. That is to be our work for the next two days. I am one of those follow the rules kinda people so when asked what I would do for the project, I proposed dyeing fabric to make a bog coat. It is a patternless, kimono like coat. I left class early to come home and prepare some fabric. To be honest, I ran out of gas and don’t have the energy to do it. Instead, I am just gonna keep dyeing scarves and making fabric which I can use in quilts.

I thought this was a cool site – the indigo gloves.


8 Responses to “Aerobic Shibori”

  1. tallgirl says:

    Great shibori, Gerrie! I admire you for having the energy to take the class. I recognize how arduous a process it is. For me, I’d rather go to Japan and buy it! As a matter of fact, I’ve already done that…

  2. Karoda says:

    First, in your previous post you asked if we all went on vacation…ah!!!…from your keyboard to God’s email is all I can say to that!

    Now, this workshop looks and sounds very intense from your pictures and description but very interesting…I would have jumped at the chance also. Doesn’t natural indigo have a toxic quality to it? Did the instructor talk about the difference in appearance between natural and synthetic indigo…I think Dharma is now carrying the synthetic.

    The outcome is fabulous! I’m not to crazy about the stitching required for the one method. It was a royal pain to take out for me last year when I tried it. Did your stitches pull out easily? If so what is the key?

  3. teri says:

    Yep…looks like fun. Hope the weather had cooled off some.


  4. Linda says:

    I love the sense you give that the indigo dye pot is a living thing whose needs must be tended to and who can’t be hurried or overused…seems very primal somehow! Thanks for sharing the info and pics from the workshop – next best thing to being there.

  5. Diane says:

    Wow! I love love LOVE your scarf. I have got to experiment with this! Glad you are having so much fun! (And no wonder you’re tired!) Who is teaching the class?

  6. Judy says:

    Your scarf is just fabulous and, I think, well worth the 10-12 dipping times…but then I wasn’t the one holding the pipe off of the bottom of the huge pot!
    I also love the glove pic!
    I can just imagine how draining that class is/was. What a great experience!

  7. dee says:

    you sound exhausted-rest a bit girl! I have company so I didn’t get around to the bloggy thing yesterday but I so love shibori and the indigo look. Very interesting to see the results. They are beautiful. Your t-shirt has a newer and better life. It’s great to see, as you say, why real indigo is so costly. What a lot of work.

  8. Jeannie says:

    I am tired just ready about all you have done! The scarf is gorgeous! It looks like a hanging wall of water. I am finding the indigo dyeing process fascinating and now understand why true indigo fabric is so expensive. Thank you for sharing your class. Now, put your feet up, have a nice glass of wine, and relax! Cheers.