John Marshall

BluebonnetsOn the drive to Johnson City, I saw my first wildflowers of the year! Very exciting after the winter we’ve had this year.

imageFrom the Wildseed web page, depicting what most of us call Indian Paintbrush.

Many years ago I went to a conference of the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild. I think I will forever have the picture in my mind of students in John Marshall’s class standing on chairs to dip their large pieces of fabric in a garbage can indigo vat. Later all of their wonderful variety of pieces were hanging on a line under the trees to dry. It really was a wonderful sight!

On Monday, I had the opportunity to take a one-day pigment workshop with John Marshall, and it was also a wonderful day. John is very generous with his knowledge and a very well-organized instructor. Most of us are probably familiar with his work, but here’s the gallery for his art. I only took these two pictures of the many pieces that he brought to show. Please click on the picture for a better look at the work.Indigo_JacketJacket







We learned how to make soy milk, rice paste resist, and pigments. He explained about the way soy milk works to bind the color to the fiber. He is such a practical man, giving us pointers on what to do with the leftover soy beans, where to find materials more inexpensively, recommending feed stores and garden shops where appropriate. He also has many products on his website, which is especially helpful for hard-to-find items. And if he can’t get them cheaper, he has links to where items may be purchased. Here is his pigment page.

So that we could get started quickly on the process, we had two previously prepared pieces to work with: one for use with pigments and soy milk, the other for use in the indigo vat.


The piece at the top is in the process of being “painted” with pigments. The newspaper is to catch anything that bleeds through the fabric, shown at the bottom of the picture.





Pigment-painted pieces are hanging to dry.

The next pictures are of the indigo vat. Indigo We used instant indigo for our work.Indigo2John_indigo2 John_indigo

Thanks to Deb McClintock for organizing this workshop! She did a great job of putting everything together and is an inspiration herself.

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