Nuit Étoilée

Our little hamlet has finally transitioned into a spring. The ancient chestnut forests higher up in the mountains are still in winter sleep, but the fruit trees in our garden are in full bloom. 

When I started dyeing with indigo I just fell in love with the beautiful depth of blue shades that came out of the vat. I  couldn’t believe how rich these shades were. In the back of my mind I had this idea to work with this natural dye a bit more from an illustrative persepective.

Holding these indigo dyed pieces of fabric always remind me of the night sky. We live secluded in the mountains which gives us the opportunity to have a clear view of the milky way. It is hard to not look up at night when I walk to dog before I go to sleep.  

Normally when I start something new, I make sketches or browse through my sketch book for ideas. From there I start with the illustrations and turn them into a actual project. Painting the illustrations on the fabric, choosing the colours and finally the dye bath.

This time I let the beautiful shades of indigo lead me the way. I have always been very interested in the ancient science of the universe. I have this wonderful book with a eclectic collection of medieval illustrations of the universe, the stars, the sun. It describes the believes people had back then, when they looked up at the night sky, reading the stars, looking at the phases of the moon. I just felt I had to do something with this theme. And so this new natural dye adventure began…

A sweet poem by Rossetti before I say goodbye to you.

the sunrise wakes the lark to sing
the moonrise wakes the nightingale
come, darkness, moonrise, everything
that is so silent, sweet and pale:
come, so ye wake the nightingale