I have always loved my microwave. So, when we lived in Uganda in 1992, we had no microwave, no television and no telephone (and all before the age of cell phones!) It was a beautiful, slowing down experience for me. Our family became advent bird watchers with our eyes constantly looking up and around.
As a fabric dyer, especially with my deconstruct printing, I have endured the wait of an entire 24 hours before washing out my creations and seeing what has magically appeared! So, the thought of getting into dyeing fabrics with plants and waiting for weeks, if not months was more than I was willing to try!
However, after exploring techniques to get the organic line on fibers, I couldn’t resist the look of the printed plant. Yes, I had tried gel printing, monoprinting and even stamping with the plant … but nothing gave the organic, hidden effects that I so love with the deconstruct silk printing.
So, off I have gone on a new adventure and, much like Uganda, have discovered a slowing down process occurring in my life. I’ve gone back into my much neglected gardens, both weeding and planting new materials to dye with. I’ve spent hours just sitting and harvesting plants, separating the roots, berries and branches from the leaves; grinding berries and dead heading flowers.
I’ve meet new neighbors as I walked through my neighborhood and introduced myself asking if I can dead head their lovely flowers for dyeing … and then end up pruning their gardens, shrubs and trees. I’m sure my neighbors think their local artist has gone a bit crazy and laugh when they see me coming with my clippers in hand!
But there is a gentleness coming over me being connected to nature and people, that has been a surprise benefit of my newest passion; a slowing down with eyes constantly looking up and around me. An ability to wait for a month or more, before unwrapping my bundles. The newest smells in the garage have become a perfume. I think this slowing down has been the been the greatest joy I have found since our family adventure in Uganda