Estelle Carlson
dyer, handweaver, tailor, USA


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Down To Earth

Down to Earth is the second coat that was inspired by my visit to West Africa. While in Mali I had the opportunity to not only visit a village in which mud-dyed fabrics (bogolanfini) were created, but also I had the chance to assist with the mud-painting. This experience was quite an exciting and exhilarating experience, but also an exhausting experience.

In order to create the design I had to sit on the sand in 100 degree temperatures and paint my design with a stick and toothbrush. My teacher was so calm and patient with me-she ignored my spilled paint, the broken stick and my weak efforts at trying to create a design. I ignored the chicken that walked across my "masterpiece" with very dirty feet.

To create Down to Earth I combined my mud-dyed fabric with hand-woven cotton and rayon fibers I dyed and wove at home. My fabric is woven in eight- harness point twill and is dyed with browns, rusts, greens and yellows. The lining is a shibori dyed charmeuse fabric also dyed in browns, rusts, greens and yellows.

Down to Earth is my Mali experience.

Price: please contact

these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Estelle Carlson,
Oct. 1999 -- last updated, May. 2003