Monday, June 18, 2012

Grown-up Indigo and a Visit to the Workshop

The Indigo plants I've been rearing are getting so big and robust, their leaves glossy and turning dark, I can barely contain my excitement. When they start to develop a blue tinge at their edges, and burst out purple blossoms, it will be time to harvest, maybe in mid-July. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never grown anything from seed, tending it start to finish, like this, and it is magic embodied. To see a seed the size of a bird-pupil turn into these—it reminds you that we humans know so little, about anything, about the processes of life that we are part of. It is a kind of worship, to tend a plant, to help it flourish. And though I've surely helped these Indigos grow strong and fast, in truth, they've given me much more than I could ever give them. When I embark on the process of fermenting the leaves into dye, I may become a total convert to the art and magic of Indigo-- seed to vat to wool, turning the color of the sky.

We had a hot, dry weekend, and the Indigos reached up their dark green leaves with joy. That's the sort of weather they love. It was a lazy day, the sun fell in through the door and warmed up our small fox-den of a home. Simon found a patch of spearmint up the road, and I gathered an armload to make Moroccan  mint tea, which, so they say, actually cools your body down on a hot day, particularly a desert-dry one. It was the perfect thing.

I've been working on more felt pieces, like the one here, to start a little business called "Thimbleberry Feltworks," I think. I'll post a new page here when I've finished my first set of products.

The following are images from the writing desk and wool-trunk.

This is my Victorian writing box, found by my wonderful Aunt Lisa somewhere mysterious. It is tilted upright slightly, for ease of writing and to minimize neck-hunching. I use it every morning, as the birds sing and the sun gets higher, with a cup of tea. It closes up and locks, and holds papers, stamps, ink containers, ribbons, inside.

Other bits from the desk, my little workshop. The beautiful watercolors were made by my friend Lara.

 Teasel, terra-cotta pot I fired in a model-Etruscan kiln (what a bright bonfire of a blaze, all through the midsummer night!) with a bit of glaze made from materials found on the paths near Spannocchia last summer.

Old postcards, handkerchief, two Madonnas.

This is the home of my wools and yarns, an old Civil War steamer trunk.

She looks like the Lady of the Lake. I wonder who pasted her there, who she is.

The wools are wrapped up in bags, to keep the moths out.

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