A long overdue shout-out to a fellow blogger (and talented fibre artist, Melanie Testa) who, on reading my post about my first attempts at block printing fabric a while back, suggested a swap and offered to send me some pens she has found useful for temporarily marking dark fabrics. I enthusiastically agreed (who could resist the lure of fun and interesting mail to look forward to!) and was thrilled to receive the following in the post a couple of weeks ago:

lovely stuff in the mail

In addition to the very useful pens Melanie sent a beautiful piece of her own rice paste resist, indigo dyed fabric. It’s a stunning colour – a deep, intense indigo blue (the pics below are a more accurate representation of the colour than the pic above). I love the lively, fragmented ‘starburst’ motif (and Melanie’s journal page bird drawings and mixed-media/collaged envelope).

rice paste resist, indigo dyed fabric by Melanie Testa

The interweb is populated by so many talented, generous people. Thanks so much Melanie!

While in Japan a couple of years ago I bought two pieces of fabric found in a ‘bargain bin’ on the Nara shotengai (they were a steal at a couple of hundred Yen!). I think they were produced using a similar method of stencilled rice paste resist and indigo over-dyeing (katazome). I have been um-ing and ah-ing about what to do with them, not wanting to destroy them through ineptitude, and so have done nothing! The arrival of Melanie’s piece of fabric has inspired me to haul them out of their storage box and give their application some serious thought. Don’t they all look lovely together?

rice paste resist, indigo dyed fabrics