The groundwork for our One Sweater Many Shades of Indigo
project began with growing indigo from seeds. My summer focus was to learn all that I could about the plant and its possibilities. I needed to master the ancient coloring process of the indigo vat to successfully coat the wool I would be using for the sweater. As I made numerous chemistry tests, the backyard crop was growing.
In September Louise Eastman
, my collaborator in experiments with cochineal, another primeval tint, was game to work together again. Instead of using the indigo for dyeing in the traditional way, we decided to honor the source and began passing the plant itself through the etching press. The seductive blues revealed themselves again as traces on the forms left by the plant. We made a series of prints on linen and wool gauze to represent the plant in both its shape and color, imagining endless fields of indigo.