July 29th, 2010 / posted by paularath

Photo courtesy Jerry Mayfield

Readers have been asking me what I’ve been up to since The Advertiser closed on June 6. The short answer is: LOTS! The longer answer involves lots of art, lots of exercise, lots of friends and lots of travel planning. All good fun stuff.

It’s also been wonderful to spend more time with my husband. Sadly, sometimes the crunch of daily deadlines got in the way of that.

Art is increasingly important in my life. I have expanded from watercolor and acrylic painting to monoprints and textile art. The photo above shows the result of an afternoon spent up close and personal with an indigo vat.

Whenever Darius Homay offers an opportunity to “play” in his indigo vat, I take advantage of it. There is something truly magical about indigo. It transforms fabrics, of course, but it also has the ability to assist with personal tranformations. Indigo dyeing provides me a sort of zen experience. My troubles seem to vanish into that rich, powerful blue, leaving a clarity of purpose.

It’s really fun when several of us are leaning over Darius’ vat, elbow-deep in darkness. I can hardly restrain myself from chanting “Double, double, toil and trouble…”

I have experimented with dyeing many different textiles with indigo, from rough-hewn Korean hemp to delicate antique silk. My faves are silk organza and silk charmeuse. The pieces in the photo above are silk charmeuse, dyed in a style called itajime, or stamp dyeing. I am working on making the silk look like little moons and planets. What do you think? Did I succeed?

– Paula Rath

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
July 29th, 2010 at 4:13 am

You absolutely did succeed. I love the blues and the moons. I especially appreciate the Jupiter/Saturn – like piece. I can imagine wearing it as a wrap-around while on a moonlit beach walk.

Emma Howard
July 30th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Paula-They are each beautiful – my favorite piece is the long vertical, 3rd from left!Aloha,Emma

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