Sunday, August 12, 2012

Art in Summer Camp, adire cloth

                                              A student applying the glue to white fabric
                                        We tested out the resist technique first with white crayon, paper and watercolor paint

I taught for one week over the summer through the camp at our school. Each week had a different theme and the week I taught was "Art around the World". One of the lessons we made were these "indigo" cloths.

I'm fascinated by the indigo cloth made in Yoruba, Africa called adire eleko which uses cassava paste as a resist. Here are a few examples that I used in my Power Point presentation...
             Adire Cloth |  Produced by the women of south western Nigeria, Adire is the name given to Indigo dyed cloth created using a variety of resist dye techniques.      artist adding wax to the cloth

 I read this book over the summer by Catherine McKinley- the book relates her experience searching for authentic indigo cloth in Africa while on a Fulbright scholarship. I was hooked from the first written word! The history is so interesting!
                                         Indigo- in search of the color that seduced the world

The process of making indigo dye is pretty intense. I researched how to make actual indigo dye and it's not off my to-do list but for now we settled for clear gel Elmers glue and synthetic dye.

I was so compelled to share this technique and  the history of adire cloth because each shape, line or pattern symbolizes a saying, a city, a life happening or event.... the marks they make are communicating, a language not made from letters. Love it!

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