Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mud Dyeing

Bjo Trimble hosted a mud dyeing class at the Griffin DyeWorks Fiber Retreat in Castaic, CA. The African tradition of bogolanfini (bogo=earth or mud; lan=by way of; fini=cloth) dates as far back as the 11th century AD, when this art served to decorate hunters' garments and women's wraparounds. Apparently, Anakin Skywallker used a bogolanfini wrap when he traveled with Padme in "The Clone Wars." At the Retreat, some of us created our own designs using the pigments and fixatives that Bjo prepared for us. After cleaning our fabrics, we soaked them in myrobalan, which is rich in tannins, and acts as a mordant. Soy milk was also used as a fixative. Slurries of mud with iron oxides, clay, and other earth minerals offered natural pigments. We used brushes to appy the mud dyes. Bjo instructed us to wait about two weeks before washing for the pigments to set.

Here, the Tans created some interesting designs with the mud dyes. Primitive motifs, timeless shapes, and mythical creatures graced our garments. You can email Bjo or visit her website for information on dyeing and other cool facts and tips about dyeing with mud!









13 comments:

Joy said...

That's really neat. I know some people dye with red clay here in NC because it's SO abundant. I've never tried though.

Mona said...

Fascinating! - I wonder if I could dye with mud from right under my feet? We certainly have a lot of clay, so perhaps I should just give it a try …

Jen said...

Love the designs by your children and love Rick's dragon! Very artistic :)

themagiconions said...

How cool... I'd love to try this... bet the kids loved it.

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND said...

I am so doing this soon! Thank you! My kids are going to be so happy! I wish I could post a "picture response" to this - LOL. I remember when they were all under 6-years-old I caught them all entirely covered with mud in the backyard from smearing our wall with mud and said "Why are you smearing mud all over the wall?" They answered "we aren't smearing the wall - we are painting". I couldn't argue with that.

BTW it is amazing what you all did with the mud! What an awesome dragon!

Louise said...

Wow- that looks like a fantastic day, I would love to try that. Your designs all look fantatstic.

gardenmama said...

I love that this is a completely natural process! What fun, I will have to try. It is lovely your family is so involved with art in many forms, together!

Lisa said...

Oohhhh, Fauna would love this!!!

Lisa :)

Artistmama said...

Wow, how cool! looks like a lot of fun.

Kelly said...

Would really love to try mud painting. I just so love how your family are so creative and all so involved in such a variety of art forms. Always love visiting your blog.

becomingheroes said...

Fabulous! Something new to try! Looks like you all had a wonderful time.

suzanne said...

Oh wow, another great dyeing post...You would love some of the African fabric prints here. Your post are always so inspirational.

Warm regards
Suzanne

Rose A.K.A. MamaRose said...

My goodness this looks so fun! It would be a great craft project to do with my 2 year old-I can't wait!!! Thank you for sharing :D