Inking up!

Inking up!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lessons in Dyeing

Thank you Velma for telling me about the bedstraw–the red lines are exquisite. I owe you!

It seems ironic that when my mother died in December I suddenly was ready to bulldoze forward to experiment with dyeing paper–nearly 3 years since Velma taught me what to do! It's just two words that sound the same, but a funny coincidence none the less.

I am finding the contact plant dyeing process extremely rewarding. It is one more expression of lessons learned from the plant world. My life long passion for plants is largely due to my grandmother Alice - my mother's mother. When my grandmother died, through a last act of my grandmother, my slight interest in plants was suddenly transformed into something meaningful and vitally important. 

I don't mean to imply that now plant dyes are connected to my mother–just interesting timing with the words dying and dyeing. If anything, my connection to plants feels much more directly experiential and not sentimentalized. Some years back, when I wasn't paying attention, a great transformation happened. I no longer needed the plants to keep me close to my grandmother. Rather, I can be close to the plants for the the simple appreciation of the plants. And I can feel my grandmother without the plants to help me.

And when it come to people, I see these papers and think of Mary, Velma, and many other friends. I especially think of, and give thanks to, my sweetie Billy who works along side me in the creative process.

1 comment:

  1. yes, experiential, catherine, and this reflection on "why now" is quite lovely.