Friday, January 25, 2013

What We Are Working On Now

At Safi Crafts we hand dye our fabrics using environmentally friendly dyes like mud from Petra.

The yellow dye is made from mud collected near Wadi Mujib where it flows into the Dead Sea. All of these colours are made from mud, tea, iron and pomegranate rind.

We add iron to darken or 'sadden' the dyes. It reacts with the tannin in tea and pomegranate to give us wonderful greys and greens.

Aishe is our master dyer. These are her hands squishing and rubbing the fabric in the dye vat.

As well as natural dyes we use artists paints. Here we are painting self portraits in oils at a workshop with Jean. She had to hide the small brushes to encourage us to paint more boldly - but someone kept finding them. It was a nutty and really fun day.

The results are bold! And we love them. 

Semiha and Alia design the bags by cutting up our paintings and reassembling the pieces.

The finished market bags are colorful and strangely wonderful. Also very useful! And there is nothing like them anywhere in the world. Each one is unique and from our hearts. 

Our market bags are fully lined with hand dyed cotton. This colour is made with mud from Petra.

The rich dark grey of the lining of this bag is made with an iron and pomegranate rind dye.

In this workshop we learn landscape painting and look at photographs of date palms on the computer.