Our Story & Process
I am a mom of 3, I love Mardi Gras, pilates, dining out, dancing to live music, singing at the top of my lungs at Phish shows and working in very fine detail. I am an organized artist, with a background in sales. I love traveling, trying new things, meeting interesting people. I see colorful inspiration in every piece of life around me.
I compare creating my art to improvisational music or a live sporting event. I know what I’m stepping into when I arrive; there’s a set order of events, however, the outcome is unknown. There is anticipation and excitement in every piece I create. This art has taught me to embrace what I cannot control within my craft and also in my life.
Tie-dye is a way of creating patterns of color by folding, tying, stitching, crumpling or otherwise preparing the fabric to inhibit the flow of the dye into its folds. I use professional grade fiber reactive procion dye on plant-based fabric.
First, each garment is first soaked in a bath of soda ash solution. Soda ash is a mild alkali that enables the reaction between the dye and the fibers.
This is done in 5-gallon buckets in my carport. There is always a giant mess of white chalk everywhere with trails of chalk splattered from the garage into my workspace . . . While the cloth is soaking I mix my dyes in squeeze bottles with powder dye and a urea solution. Urea is a moisture drawing agent that keeps the fabric damper longer during the curing process. It also assists in dissolving the powdered dye. Both the soda ash and urea are necessary tools to guarantee rich vibrant colors that do not fade.
All of this is done in my primary workspace: my kitchen – the same kitchen where I cook dinner and where my kids do their homework. On days when I’m dying there is also a lot of cleaning up going on.
Once soaked, I ring the garment out to remove excess liquid, then fold and/or tie the fabric in order to create a unique pattern. I apply the dye and wrap it in plastic so that it remains wet. Each piece is cured for a minimum of 24 hours after the dye is applied. On any given day there are piles of giant ziplock bags on top of my dryer sometimes dripping down the side and onto my floor.
I have an extensive rinsing process to ensure that all excess dye is completely removed. Each garment is soaked in hot, sometimes even boiling water and then machine washed on hot until it runs clear. So thankful for my double sink on rinse days. Although, before I sell this house I’ll have to have the cabinets and window pains repainted white. Until then I’ll enjoy seeing my hard work of speckled dye on the backsplash and splattered dye covering (what use to be) white walls.
The inherent beauty of hand-dying is that each piece is a unique work of art. Several steps and a lot of mess later, I have perfected this method. Nothing makes me happier than the days that I work. I love having a creative outlet and take such pride in knowing that my artistic expression and entrepreneurship serves as an example for my young children. I followed a passion and made a dream a reality! I am grateful for the support that my husband, family, and friends provide and love being able to call them clients as well.
My dining room is still my studio and my workspace is my kitchen, but one day it will be more. Stay tuned .........