Indigo Dyeing with Piano Camp Kids

I’m teaching a art in music class at Piano Camp this week. These student piano players have come for a week of all sorts of music related activities, and then one “other” type of class. My 12 kids are getting 3 days of dyeing with me, then a day of beading and another day of scrapbooking with my friend Liz. Yesterday we quickly showed them how indigo dyeing works and I showed them some different pattern techniques. I asked them to choose a musical phrase from a favorite piece of music and try to represent the rhythm of that phrase in the rhythm they created by folding and clamping or tying. We only had an hour, so it was fast and furious; Liz snapped a couple of shots during the event:

indigo dyeing with kids 1

indigo dyeing with kids 3

indigo dyeing with kids 2

I’m totally gobsmacked with how awesome this patterning is:

indigo dyeing with kids 4

And here’s everybody the next day with their bandanas all washed and dried:


Everyone was happy with the results, and ready to dye with more color!

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Dabbling in the Indigo Dyepot

I’ve done some indigo dyeing before, mostly for a session in my Dyeing 102: Controlling Texture online class, as well as when I teach Mother Earth Chemistry at the University, but I’ve not followed up on it much as there is just not that much time in the days! However, this week, I’m teaching a one hour class art class each morning for a Piano Camp that’s being run at the School of Music; the instant gratification of being able to see the blue appear before their very eyes, as well as how the folds they did turned into a pattern seemed like the perfect way to start the week! My friend Lizzie is going to help me early in the week and then teach the Thursday and Friday sessions as I’m off to a family wedding in Virginia, so she came over on Saturday to play in a new indigo vat I’d mixed up. After I showed her how it all worked with a few small samples, she tried out various rubberband resists with a large spiral in the center on a cotton/silk scarf blank, while I did a clamped design on another cotton/silk blank.

Here they are soon after they had come out of the vat and I’d just opened them up…the green portions were oxidizing to blue as I was snapping the picture:


And here they are a couple minutes later:


After I’d washed and dried them, I took a few minutes out from photographing tons of silk for Dyeing 104 I’ve been hard at work on to snap some pictures of our scarves, it is SO addictive to play with how the scarf is tied around “Myrtle” to see how the patterns look with different drapes! Here’s the scarf that Lizzie made:




And here’s my clamped design:





I think that I’m going to dye some more for shows this Fall and see how they sell, they are really fun to make!

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2 | Building a Brick Pizza Oven


I’ve been hard at work on getting Dyeing 104 ready to launch, and hubby has spent what little free time he has on the next steps of building a bigger, better, brick pizza oven! First he spread over 1000 pounds of gravel in the bottom of the foundation he dug: Next step is the rebar,…

July Goals Check-in


I’ve been working hard on the building Dyeing 104: Multicolor Silk! Once I’ve got the first 4 sessions up I’l launch, but the first four sessions are doozies! So much to explain, so many videos to tape, so many pictures to edit, so much explaning to type! And then there’s the video editting, the picture…

1 | Brick Pizza Oven version 2.0


While I’m working on building Dyeing 104, hubby has a summer project: building a bigger, better pizza oven! 4 years ago he built his first pizza oven on our back patio and it has served us well! Here it is when he first built it: Unfotunately, we didn’t dry the clay slow enough, so it…

Vote for This Year’s Quilting Arts Holiday Magazine cover!

holiday cover vote

Holy Moley! My Jetson’s Christmas art quilt is being considered for the cover of Quilting Arts Holiday magazine this year! Feel free to vote for it if you like! (Or vote for either of the other ones…they’re all gorgeous!) I made this art quilt earlier this year, and whether or not it’s on the cover, the…

Happy Independence Day!

Pokorny Dinner 17

I thought I’d share this video of NYO-USA’s performance of “America the Beautiful” at Carnegie Hall last summer: Liam had a great experience with NYO-USA last summer, we’re so glad there are recordings like this so we can remember that awesome concert tour! Here in Redlands, we had another fabulous week of music with the…

Meetup | July Goals

I’ve had a busy month with LOTS of family stuff! The Pokorny low brass festival that Hubby organizes and participates in each year is half over today. I had to play in the Sunday concert, I am SO glad that’s over, and I’ll have extra running around to do and concerts to attend each night,…