I’ll be spending a lot of my Saturday’s this summer in my new shared temporary studio, The Vat Shack. This project brings together 6 Indigo & textile artists for a summer of all things blue!
The Vat Shack artists have affectionately been dubbed the “Den Mama’s”.
This project has been made possible by Charleston non profit, Enough Pie in partnership with Clemson’s architecture students (and others) who built this amazing temporary traveling “studio” for this specific purpose. The Den Mama’s and Enough Pie had regular meetings with the students and professors to share in the process of designing this space specifically for our needs. It was so fun to see it go from concept to reality, they did an amazing job and gave us just about everything on our “wish list”!
After the “shack” was delivered we came together to set up 3 types of Natural indigo vats, a Ferrous (Iron) vat, Fermentation vat and Hydrosulphate Vat. These three types of vats were selected to illustrate the evolution of this artform and craft throughout history (fermentation being the oldest type, Hydros the most “modern”). I was really in my element getting to set up the supplies and organize all the tools, shelving, space layout etc.
Last Saturday this project was launched into the community with a public event Awakening:Indigo IV. All the Den Mama’s were there to share Indigo dyeing with the community. All afternoon we gave demonstrations of dyeing with indigo, shibori techniques and people added to the Community Rag Quilt (a Gullah Tradition being revived by the Gullah Lady).
Art installations (I created another one of my wire hanger mandala’s above) were onsite along with performances by story tellers (like my friend Sharon Cooper Murray-below) and a screening of the indigo documentary Blue Alchemy by Mary Lance who was in attendance and helped to create a lasting blue memories in Charleston!
Den mama’s will be spending time in the shack teaching workshops, camps and leading community dye days (first and third Saturday’s each month into October). This project is such an exciting way to bring together all different kinds of people in the Charleston community to learn about the art, craft, science and history of Indigo in the Lowcountry and around the world. I’m very proud to be a part of this and I hope to see you out there this summer!