Monday, December 12, 2011

still-sound 24. Indigo

An indigo-colored vase I recently made.

I found that when I glaze objects in transparent then black, they combine in the firing to produce a deep indigo color.

There's an episode of At Home With Venetia in Kyoto where Venetia visits a textile artist with her grandson Joe.  They crush indigo leaves and create patterns on fabric with that and other plant dyes.  Venetia and Joe later sing a song about colors.  Funnily an echo effect is applied to the song so it sounds as though they're singing in a grand, empty hall.*

While watching Venetia I wondered what the indigo dye smelled like.  I knew a guy in London named James who studied textile design in college.  He claimed that he loved the smell of indigo.  It's not a typically pleasant scent apparently, but he loved it anyway.

The Nakashima House as printed in Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson

I saw photographs of the furniture maker George Nakashima's home in New Hope, Pennsylvania.  The interior is traditional Japanese crossed with the American Shaker style.  The simple cushions on the plain wooden benches looked to be indigo-dyed.  I grew up living only minutes away from this house. Now it's on the other side of the country from me.  Shame, as I would love to visit it now.

Shun-yo from Shoyeido

There's a Japanese clothing brand called 45rpm that makes jeans from hand-dyed indigo denim.  Larry Shaffer, owner of OK on 3rd Street told me that they burn Shoyeido's premium Shun-yo incense in all of the 45rpm boutiques.  He had a box of it in his own store- hidden away in a drawer.  I bought it and rushed home to light it.  The incense is kept in a beautiful silk box.  The scent can be described as a spicy sandalwood with curry overtones.  I like it but rarely burn it because Rob thinks it makes the apartment smell like I've just been cooking katsu. This isn't necessarily a bad smell, but it makes him hungry.** ***

*Since posting this I watched another episode of Venetia which happened to replay the Colors Song.  It didn't appear to have the echo effect this time.  It's strange that I distinctly remembered it to sound that wayDecember 13.
**Since posting this I have re-lit Shun-Yo.  This morning in fact, before my meditation.  I found the scent warm, spicy and beautiful with hints of helichrysum perhaps and Chinese herbal medicine.  I'll see if the apartment smells like curry tonight when I get home.  December 15.
***The apartment didn't smell of curry.  I even lit Shun-Yo again this morning.  There's something about the warmth and fullness of it that really suits this time of year.   December 16

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