New “Dye Studio”

When I first began indigo dyeing three years ago, I set up a 6′ table out on the lakeside porch.  It worked well, until a porcupine and a black bear started visiting.

At that point, the table, indigo vat, and supplies were moved to a workbench and vintage metal cupboard in the garage.  That didn’t work quite so well as Char had her woodworking shop in the garage. Things were usually covered with fine (saw)dust.  And though the garage gets a bit of heat in winter, subzero temps made it too cold to work out there.  So, when I needed to dye with the indigo, I’d bring it in to the kitchen near the wood burning range, about 24 hours in advance of dyeing, so things could warm up.

Newly refinished pine floor boards.
Newly refinished pine floor boards.

A few months ago, the idea of my using part of the entry/laundry room for a dye area, year around.  So a few days before the summer 2015 Northwoods Art Tour, Char finished the remainder of the floor and trim (above).

Also discussed were wood shelves and a movable table, but the good possibility of putting my home up for sale put those ideas on hold.

Tables, indigo vat, and supplies now inside!
Tables, indigo vat, and supplies now inside!

Instead, I added my 6′ well-used banquet-type table to the room, joining the oak mission table we use (shown above with sewing machine).  The washer and dryer are just visible on the right; a single utility sink is next to the washer, and next to that, a storage closet. Chemicals, etc., will be kept in 2 cupboards above the dryer.  And, a light was added over the 6′ table.

First indigo vat in new-to-me dye area.
First indigo vat in new-to-me dye area.

Is it my dream dye studio?  No!  But it is working fine for this weaver/indigo dyer.  For now.  I am thankful to have this space!  I put it to use a couple days before the art tour, dyeing four new scarves. One even sold, unfinished, during the art tour!  (Fringe was hand-twisted, the scarf was pressed, and mailed.)

New 15 yard warp of 16/2 cotton.
New 15 yard warp of 16/2 cotton.
Threading the new 16/2 cotton warp.
Threading the new 16/2 cotton warp.

About the same time all this was going on, a new 15 yard warp was made, beamed, and threaded, so I’ve be able to demonstrate and explain the woven shibori process to visitors.

As I write this and the next couple posts, I’m visiting my dad who just celebrated his 88th birthday two days ago.  I’m enjoying time with family, and also looking forward to getting back to my loom and weaving!

Before leaving home, I did finish the new scarves, managed to snap a few photos, and they were delivered to Artistree Gallery.   Photos will be in an upcoming post, so please check back!

2 thoughts on “New “Dye Studio””

  1. You are doing lovely work. I have strayed from weaving since mid-Spring because of the need to sew some clothes for myself. Will get back to knitting, spinning and weaving when this horribly hot weather cools down.

  2. Thank you, Catherine! Sewing a few clothes for myself is on my Do List, I’ve had 3 yards of royal blue linen sitting here for months to sew into a blouse/top for myself. We’ll have to compare notes on weaving and sewing progress.

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