Hudson Valley Gifts and Goods


Indigo Days

It's that time of year again, indigo summer days. While technically it's still spring, we've seemingly lost fall and spring, my two favorite seasons and have been shoved straight into the heat of summer.

The process of Shibori is a long, meditative and thoughtful process. It requires a lot of patience which I admittedly struggle with. It reminds me of playing golf. I know, golf. The comparison seems ridiculous but it is in fact similar. It's a test of patience, self control, preciseness and being prepared for it all to go to shit no matter how long you spend preparing, lining edges up, figuring out the perfect angles, every detail imaginable. 

Visit Vortex was kind enough to come to my home, photograph and write an article on my Shibori pieces last summer. To be quite honest, it was my first year experimenting with the process and I was afraid I would have Shibori experts scoffing at my rookie instructions, running out from the woods behind the house draped in magnificent kimonos yelling at me. Though, over the past year, having experimented with different techniques and trial by error I can confidently say, I have somewhat improved. 

The only downside of working with the dye is, you may have smurf hands for week and the odor of the dye. When Jessica and Matt from Visit Vortex came, it was a warm day and the air, still. Breezes are always good to have on a Shibori day. I warned Matt who would be photographing my hands directly over my bucket of dye that it may be overwhelming. He wasn't worried. It was his birthday and he was in high spirits.

Depending on how many days the dye has been marinating its odor can change from feet to garbage on a hot sidewalk. This year my nose has fortunately become accustomed to it and it is far less bothersome. Perhaps it's like the old school printmakers who would test the strength of the acid they would use to etch their lithographs on their tongue. Eventually, they lost their sense of taste, the buds on their tongues burned from their labor of love. 

Having spent the last three days back into my indigo routine it felt good. It reminded me how the shop has been open just over a year now. I wonder how I made it. The first year was brutal. My anxiety sky rocketed. I only left the house for work. I spent my days off at home sitting at my sewing machine or sitting on my porch wondering, "why?" Why? Because I love to make things. This is what I've always wanted to do. Let's see if I can make it another year. 



photograph by: Matt Petricone

photograph by: Matt Petricone

Scarlet Deford