Post William Morris

Well I am back in my workroom talking to the dog again.  A bit of a let down after my trip of a life time.  I am scrambling to make up for lost fabrication time, but I wanted to post another hopefully humorous blog.  This blog will be an overview of our day in Bristol, England and Indigo vat dyeing.   

First the drive....uneventful but bloody long.  I thought Boston traffic was an experience in patience.  Well London traffic is an experience and the contemplation in the possibility of hell.  Two hours later we arrived in Bristol and needed to stop for a lunch to bring to the workshop.  Jayna pulls a u-turn and stays with the car.  (This being said, the area seemed a bit sketchy) I am tasked with entering a small convenient store and parading up and down the aisles to create a feast for lunch.  Bread, cheese, ham and Pringles were part of the delicacies.  As I checked out, spending a mere 6.44 pound, the cashier looked at all the dates on the packages.  Yikes,  apparently not the best location to get fresh eats.

The vat dyeing was in an artist co-op.  We made it.  A few mini vans and RV's outside, apparently this is a live, work  and play section of town.  :)  Alex greeted us with coffee and biscuits and our learning began!  History, technique and pattern application and we were off.  Chic peas and rubber bands for me.  Yes they do create a lovely pattern on fabric.  Needle and thread, as well as clothes pins for Jayna.  

Dyeing consisted of dunking the fabric carefully into the vats and for me blue hands and arms, William Morris style!  Rinsing and dunking three times and our fabric was dyed and hung to dry and for all to admire....well after all those rubber bands and chic peas came out.  This was about a 20 minute process.  Who knew?!

The day rushed by.  We each dyed three pieces of fabric and left with a sense of accomplishment and vigor.  The last step in the process, run the fabrics through a rinse cycle in a washing machine.  A "to do" when we returned to our flat.  Well let's just say that our ability to run a washing machine in the UK was less than fair.  Either the water temperature was off or we were, but most of the fabrics ran together.  We did salvage one piece each.  The chic peas survived!  Did Morris have such events in his dyeing experiences?

Although the day was marked by success and some failure, we are now renewed and are wanting to set up a vat dye here at home.  Any one interested in blue hands and arms?  Practice will make perfect.  Here's to William Morris and the wonderful people we met in England all due to his fabric design and inspiration.  

Cheers!  Next adventure ....hmmm I think I will keep this a secret for a bit.  :)