3-Day Indigo Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana
June 2 @ 10:00 am - June 4 @ 5:00 pm$695
A special opportunity to learn from a master craftsman
Join us at the beautiful Fibershed Learning Center on Black Mountain Ranch near Point Reyes Station for a three-day workshop on indigo. The workshop runs from 10 am to 5 pm each day. This will be Aboubakar’s only West Coast indigo workshop in 2023.
This workshop, taught by textile artist Aboubakar Fofana, will focus on powdered indigo and setting up a fructose vat. Aboubakar will teach students to use environmentally (and skin!) friendly techniques and how careful preparation results in a deep beautiful vat, ready for dipping. The fructose vat is also relatively straightforward to put together and to use. This workshop will also explain the unique chemistry of indigo and the principles of setting up and caring for a fructose vat.
Over three days, Aboubakar will show students how to prepare powdered indigo and how to set up the dye vat, then to dye a set of color gradation samples with his assistance. Students will also experiment with the traditional Malian woven stripcloth, finimugu. You will come away with the knowledge to create and maintain your own vats and start working with indigo, as well as how to achieve the best results with this ancient and singular dye-stuff, plus your beautiful indigo-dyed finimugu and cotton samples.
The workshop is open to all skill levels. We will provide finimugu and lightweight cotton fabrics for dipping, plus the indigo and vat ingredients. Please note that this workshop is not intended for extended, large-scale indigo dipping, but is an inquiry into the techniques and practice of indigo from the unique perspective of an artist.
Aboubakar will also share his experiences with revitalizing indigo growing in Mali to replace synthetic indigo, and his production workshop in Mali where his amazing creations are made.
The workshop includes:
- Three days in-person intensive study with Aboubakar on indigo dyeing at the Fibershed Learning Center
- All materials (Indigo, vat ingredients and sample fabrics, including finimugu)
- The opportunity to see some of Aboubakar’s prized textiles for sale from his workshop in Bamako
Enroll here: eventbrite.com/e/500430851147
Also of note: Fibershed and Fiber Circle Studio are honored to host Aboubakar at a trunk show of his exquisite textiles at Fiber Circle Studio (113 Kentucky Street in Petaluma) on June 8th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. All sales 100% benefit Aboubakar’s projects in Mali and France. We hope you will join us! (More details here)
Cancellation Policy: Due to the expenses involved in bringing Aboubakar to California for this special workshop, we are unable to provide refunds unless we can fill your space from the waitlist. If someone who is waitlisted purchases your space, we will refund your ticket, minus the Eventbrite fees. You are also welcome to transfer your ticket to someone who wishes to purchase it directly from you.
Tuition Scholarships & Transportation/Childcare Stipends
Fibershed is offering two scholarships to most workshops; one scholarship if it’s a small class. In addition to scholarships for tuition, we are offering a limited number of stipends for transportation and/or childcare. If you would not otherwise be able to attend, and would like to be considered as a scholarship and/or stipend recipient, please answer a few brief questions on this Google Form. Responses will be reviewed by Learning Center staff and kept strictly confidential.
Born in Mali and raised in France, Aboubakar Fofana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, textiles and natural dyes. He is known for his work in reinvigorating and redefining West African indigo dyeing techniques, and much of his focus is devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials.
“For me, the blue of indigo is symbolic of many things, many deeply spiritual connections within my homeland. But it is also deeply symbolic of what colonialism has done to my region and my people, and to lands and societies elsewhere. I can talk about blue as a colour, as a shade, as an idea, as a spiritual practice. I cannot ever separate my work from my spirituality, and I equally cannot separate it from my political struggle for African liberation, which is ever-present in all my work.” — Aboubakar Fofana, from Beyond the Blueness on Tatter
View a video from Botanical Colors’ Feedback Friday for a tour of Aboubakar’s Bamako studio, where you will see him harvest indigo, do some indigo dyeing, introduce his artisans, and see all the amazingness that is Aboubakar on his home turf.
Follow Aboubakar on Instagram @aboubakarfofana
Photo credits: Top, indigo dye samples and Aboubakar dyeing by Anna Brones. Above, portrait of Aboubakar by Francois Goudier, photo of textiles from Aboubakar’s studio by Anna Brones.
BONUS: The Clothing Swap Closet is now open during workshops and events at the Fibershed Learning Center!
Visit the Clothing Swap Closet when you attend a workshop or event at the Learning Center and exchange your natural fiber garments and accessories. Your clothing contributions must be clean and in good condition. Each contribution entities you to choose one item of comparable value.