Thursday, September 29, 2011

Indigo Blossoms

My indigo is sporting some dainty pink flowers now. The kojyoko variety has not bloomed out yet and is supposed to have white blossoms. I think I see some buds forming on them. I am worried about a hard frost we are expected to have soon so I will have to watch and cover them if needed.

The leaves and stems have taken on a reddish cast as the buds came out.

A tiny spider is a bonus in this picture. The buds are just shooting out and are still green.
The buds are tiny and arranged on sprays.
An overhead view shows the arching of the sprays of flowers.

Lots of blooms coming out.
I love this picture! My husband even said it was a good portrait of the indigo buds.

One dainty flower opening.

More flowers opening.

I have made this picture my screensaver on my computer. I love the pink flower
buds against the blue sky. Not my best photo, but it makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Colorways Fall 2011

Truly exciting for me to be included in the new Colorways e-mag for Fall 2011. My good friend and fellow artist and art teacher Michelle Cox joined me in working on "In the Kitchen." We used commonly found kitchen items and cooking techniques to dye with. We also got to experience the beauty of the yellow that is saffron! Truly golden and glowing, saffron will brighten your day even if it only lasts a few seasons as it fades with exposure to light. Yes, we did use some dyes known to be fugitive, but you can dye it again in the same color or do something different. We used several different fibers and silk scarves for our dye experiments. Here is a sneak peek:

A lovely little dish of saffron.

If you click the link above you can get a better preview. It is an exciting edition with articles from Rowland Ricketts on his IndiGrowing Blue project and Elaine Lipson gives an overview of her trip to ISEND. The e-mag format developed by Interweave includes slide shows, pop out photos, videos, pdf files to print out as reference and great photos and articles. It really is eye candy for the fiber artist! The summer 2011 issue of Colorways (the premier issue) is fabulous as well.

Indigo Comparison II

A comparison of two varieties of indigo. I know the one on the left is polygonum tinctorium. The one on the right seems to be slightly different but may still be polygonum tinctorium--just another variety.

To update, I have three varieties of indigo growing this year. Two types of polygonum tinctorium and a third I now believe was not identified correctly when I got the seeds. The third has thinner leaves that tend to curl and they seem to turn a darker blue when dried. The plants have gotten taller than the others after the same growth and have bloomed earlier than the others.

I removed a leaf from each of the plants in the picture above and slightly crushed them. The leaf on the left started to turn blue immediately and the one of the right only a little. The leaf on the left is much thinner and they have had a tendency to curl on the plants. The leaves are close in size as far as length and width go.

From left to right, the varieties are: the one I am unsure about, polygonum tincorium senbon, and polygonum tinctorium kojyoko. All were transplanted at the same time.

The unidentified stems approx 18" long, thick stems with reddish/brown cast. Leaves are thin and have a tendency to curl. Leaves are slightly olive in color. Larges leaves are approx 3-4" long and 2" wide at widest point.

Polygonum tinctoria  senbon. Stems are approx 18" long with a reddish cast. Leaves are bright green and approx 3-4" long and 2" wide at widest point.
Polygonum tinctoria kojyoko. Stems are approx 12-14" long and are green with some brown. Leaves are bright green and approx 2-3" long and 1 1/2" at widest point. This variety seems to grow a little more compactly.

Left to right, the unidentified variety, polygonum tinctoria senbon, polygonum tinctoria kojyoko leaves for a side by side comparison. 

Next I will compare the dried stems and leaves and then the blossoms and seeds. I am still working to confirm what variety of indigo I have in the third set of plants.