The dye pot was waiting for us when we arrived to class. Three days old, filled with simmering walnuts and remnants from dye attempts past. Thick and almost sirupy, ready for the magic to begin.
The walnut pot was of course only one part of the enchantment taking place during the two day long botanical alchemy workshop in Cleveland with dye master and artist extraordinaire India Flint
. The class was expertly arranged and organized by Christine Mauersberger
, who besides making sure we were well fed and equipped also shared her own useful insights and beautiful stitching. All of my fellow class mates where so talented and energetic. They generously exchanged knowledge, fabric swatches, and plant materials.
My work space.
And then there was Ms. India, who made the two days whisk by with lightning speed, while still making sure all of us accomplished many, many things. We learned to wrap cloth directly around the fresh walnuts for amazing colorful patterns. We learned to play with metal scraps, iron potions, milk paint, and tangerine juice. Her wonderful teachings were carried out with grace, patience, and a great sense of humor.
The last day we were assigned to make a special piece. Starting out with white on white, layers of cloth stitched together, embellished with thread, fabric scraps, and stitches, lots of stitches, before ending up in the dye bath. The purpose was to create a personal companion piece, that would continue to be enhanced by dye and stitch over time. I am thrilled with the outcome and I will carry my piece along as a reminder of friendship, camaraderie, and the pure joy of making art.
My special piece.
While in Cleveland I also discovered the beautifully curated art museum, the botanical garden, and a great little exhibit of India Flint
and Susan Gaylord's
work tucked into the midst of the residential neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. And I got to reunite with a wonderful friend
from the past. Happy times to be had by all.
Eco printed repurposed book pages by India Flint. © India Flint
Eco printed vintage kimono by India Flint. © India Flint
Spirit book by Susan Gaylord. © Susan Gaylord