Giving Marigolds

Holiday 2016

The more we dig the more we discover about the magical qualities and story of marigolds. From medicinal healing properties to that crazy cadmium color, Mary its Middle English name (referring to the Virgin Mary) + golde = Marigold, the commonly known name of all varieties of Calendula and Tagetes flowering plants. Perhaps this holiday season, you will consider giving a gift of Marigold.

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When a woman puts on a huipil, it is a kind of ritual. As her head passes through the neck opening, she becomes the center of a symbolic world. Made from two to three pieces of rectangular fabric, a cut opening in the center and a seam at each side, the huipil is a commonly worn blouse in Mexico and Central America. The style of the huipil indicates the community of the wearer as each community has their own methods of creating fabrics and decorations.

For our Marigold collaboration, we made our own huipils. Printing fresh-picked marigolds onto lightweight linen, we created a series of unique monotypes, printed pieces to be worn honoring the simplicity and beauty of this traditional tunic.

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An exercise in building color, this series of Marigold Scarf Panels was created through multiple printings. Layering color with each pass through the press, the large, orange shade flower produced the most vibrant color of all. On some panels we added a pale grey dye to contrast the yellow hues and on others, we left the natural color of the wool gauze. Light, airy and warm – a perfect gift.

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For last year’s sweater project One Sweater Many Shades of Indigo, we produced a one-size-for-all indigo sweater. This year, we are updating our one-size, studio-made sweater in a limited edition using the yellow extracted from marigolds grown on the Russell Janis studio roof. The resulting shade is a beautiful, pale, buttery yellow.

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