Getting Ready to Grow Woad Blue

Last weekend, with the help of the whole family, we got to work setting up for growing a new batch of woad here in Conestoga. Using old tires from the garage beside my studio, we set up fifty planters for what I hope will create an ideal place for last year’s woad seeds to grow. It

Woad Blue Harvest

The annual harvest of our woad patch is something I look forward to every year. While it seems that the weather rarely cooperates (at least it wasn’t snowing, like last year …) I find it magical every time that profoundly deep blue appears.

Woad Harvest

Over this part summer my wife and I left a couple of plots “unplanted” in our garden. Instead we shook out last years woad seeds over the earth and let the plots be. As I had hoped, the woad plants grew up among the weeds. But last night it went down to 6 °C (43

Marl Lake: Preparing Maya Blue

  Since I began this project I have been pining for a good blue to use in my work. Growing some woad and thereby having indigo to use was a wonderful start.Certain concerns, however, were always in the back of my mind as to whether such pigment could really be counted light-fast. So I kept

Woad Pigment: Decantoring

I usually don’t allow myself to become obsessed about studio issues on Sunday, but today was a very relaxed day and the work was very minimal, so I did a little bit with the woad. I also was looking for an end to my suspense! And, as I carefully got to the bottom of my

Woad Pigment: Harvesting

One of the very few dyes that can be used reliable as a pigment comes from the woad plant (Isatis tinctoria). It is also sometimes called wild mustard. This spring my wife planted a small crop for me in her garden and with the weather turning cooler I thought it was time to harvest some