Okay, I know this probably isn’t really considered blue, especially since I titled it Purple Haze (Reflection). I am including it here because it won an honorable mention at the Materials: Hard & Soft juried show. Take a look at the page and see all of the winners. I am in really good company!Purple Haze of a Setting SunAs someone who used to do lots of natural dyeing, the words below caught my eye. Now if only the name of the plant was given. I’m really curious about that. This article came from HandEye magazine. You might want to go there and read the whole piece.

The brilliance of Rishtan blue comes from a wild plant whose small branches are picked in autumn and burned to ash to provide the main ingredient of the blue glaze.  During Soviet Time, the factory used commercial lead glazes and the local recipes were nearly lost, but older local master potters remembered and in the 1990s revived the techniques. Now lead-free and fired at a higher temperature than most earthenware, Rishtan ceramics are both delicate and sturdy.  (I can attest to that – three teapots and six cups made it safely home, rolled up in a suzani in my checked baggage.)

imageThe other interesting piece of this is about the process that dyes out when commercial products enter the picture. Many traditions have been lost because of commercial dyes being introduced. Michele Wipplinger of Earthues has gone all over the world helping indigenous peoples revive their natural dye tradition.

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