24 Home growers have embarked on that blue path of growing Japanese Indigo in Scotland with me. Small quantities but a big connection. We hope to grow plants, dye blue but also create connections between us and nature, between us as growers, farmers, dyers… I have asked them to write a few words to introduce themselves and talk about their journey as first time Indigo growers.
Please meet Nicky… I met her through my online teaching of botanical printing. She volunteered early and wanted to take part for her own personal reason… read for yourself.
“Hello, I am Nicki Wilkins, (writer, artist, home educator, soul midwife/mentor), living near Dundee, on the east coast of Scotland, and I will be growing my indigo plants at my allotment plot on the west side of Dundee Law with the most beautiful view of the Lomond hills in Fife and the River Tay.
I have been chasing blue (or blue has been chasing me) for most of my life, but it was when my mother died in 2013, and I began to find all her knitted blue blankets tucked away in her home, that I started a poetic relationship with blue. I then began writing about the way the colour blue motifs my midlife journey. My memoir, This Slender Blue Thread, is why I am part of this growing indigo project. I like working with blue!
As an eco-artist, working with the natural materials I forage, I’ve dabbled in printing, cyanotypes, indigo vat building, and currently I am working with wild clay documenting my menopausal journey.
My art practice is grounded in my relationship with the natural world around me, and I enjoy working with plant materials from seed to colour. While I plan on exploring indigo dyeing with paper (the poet in me wants blue paper!), someday I hope to make my own indigo pigment to colour my wild clay balls (dorodangoes=Japanese mud balls).
I like the idea of mapping indigo growing across Scotland and seeing and watching how others work with blue. And just today I got a chance to say hello to my first indigo seedlings! Just thinking about how they carry blue makes me smile. Come visit me on Instagram.