Follow me on Instagram at Indigo Nomad Tas

I BECAME INTERESTED IN FABRIC DESIGN AND DYING WHILST STUDYING INTERIOR DESIGN AT RMIT AND EAST SYDNEY TECH.

MY INSPIRATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE SEA. AND LIKE ALL NOMADS THIS HAS LED ME TO MANY PLACES.

MY LOVE OF FABRIC DESIGN AND COLOURING BEGAN WHEN I FIRST CO-FOUNDED PIZZAZZ SWIMWEAR AND SPORTSWEAR IN MELBOURNE, WHICH FEATURED HAND PRINTED LARGE GRAPHICS IN BOLD COLOURS SCREEN PRINTED ONTO COTTON, WOOL AND LEATHER FOR THE FASHION MARKET.

 

LATER I BECAME A PRINCIPAL OF LA VILLA VANUATU AND NOUMEA, DESIGNING AND HAND DYING SILKS FOR PAREOS, WALL HANGINGS AND REEF DRESSES FOR THE LUXURY TOURIST MARKETS AND THE LOCAL HOTELS.

 

I FURTHER FOUNDED LE CIRC IN BRISBANE, A CONCEPT RETAIL OUTLET WHICH FEATURED HAND DYED SILK AND LINEN CLOTHING EMBROIDERED IN OVER-COLOURED PATTERNS, AND DESIGNER HOMEWARES.

 

ALL THIS HAS LED ME TO RESIDE IN TASMANIA AND TO CULTIVATE MY OWN INDIGO to PRODUCE HAND DYED SILKS, SILK/WOOL BLEND, COTTONS AND ALPACCA SCARVES, SHAWLS, SOFT FURNISHINGS AND KAFTANS UNDER THE LABEL OF INDIGO NOMAD. ALL ORIGIONAL DESIGNS HANDCRAFTED WITH HEART IN NATURAL, ORGANIC INDIGO GROWN BY ME IN THE PRISTINE TERROIR OF TASMANIA.

THE USE OF MY OWN INDIGO HAS FURTHER LED ME TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMPLEX NATURE OF THIS DYE. THE SEASONS RELEASE DIFFERENT INTENSITIES OF THE BLUE COLOUR AS DOES THE AMOUNT OF TIMES A FABRIC IS IMMERSED IN THE VATS I CARE FOR. IT IS THE MANIPULATING OF THE COLOUR VARIENTS OF BLUE THAT MAKE NATURAL INDIGO SO HIGHLY PRIZED.  COMMERCIAL, SYNTHETIC INDIGO IS OF COURSE ONLY THE PLAIN DARK BLUE. LIKE MANY BEFORE ME SINCE RECORDED TIME IT IS THE ALCHEMY OF THESE AMAZING PLANTS THAT BECOMES SO ADDICTIVE, HOW A GREEN LEAF CAN BE COAXED TO PRODUCE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL RANGE OF BLUES WE CALL INDIGO IS TRUE MAGIC. THE LIQUID OF THE INDIGO FERMENTATION VAT IS ITSELF YELLOWY/GREEN BUT WHEN THE FABRIC IS RELEASED TO THE FRESH AIR THE MAGIC BEGINS AND SLOWLY THIS YELLOWY GREEN BECOMES BLUE. THIS IS THE COLOUR THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, WAS MORE HIGHLY VALUED THAN GOLD AND TRADED INTERNATIONALLY ALONG THE KNOWN WORLD TRADE ROUTES.

LIKE GOOD WINE OR SOUR DOUGH BREAD THE MAGIC HAPPENS IN THE FERMENTATION OF THE VAT AND THE EXCHANGE OF OXYGEN MOLECULES WITHIN THE PROCESS OF DYING.

I USE AN ANCIENT ALCHEMY WITH A MODERN INTERPRETATION, SOMETIMES OVERLAYING THE DYED FABRIC WITH TRANSLUCENT OR METALLIC DETAILING OR, USING THE JAPENESE METHODS OF SHIBORRI TO INTERPRET THE PATTERNS  that THE OCEAN BELOW MY STUDIO SHOWS ME ON THIS ISLAND SURROUNDED BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA.

COLLEEN MACSPORRAN

B.APP SCI, M.M.H.

indigonomadtas@gmail.com