Mud Magic – The bioshpere on cloth with Aboubakar Fofana / Workshop
Ubud, Bali, ID
17. - 20.03.2023
Combining dirt, bacteria, iron, plants, people and creativity to make a black dye from mud
With Aboubakar Fofana teaching at the Threads of Life studio in Bali, this 4-day workshop brings together the practices of West Africa and Southeast Asia. The mud dyeing traditions of Mali and Indonesia differ in their expressions but are rooted in the same interaction with the biosphere: collect iron-rich mud, feed organic matter to the mud’s bacteria so that they can convert the iron into the right form, soak yarn or cloth in tannins, and apply the mud so that the iron and tannin combine to generate the black dye in the fibres. In Mali, surface designs are created by tannin dyeing a whole cloth and then applying the mud only where you want the cloth to be black. Across Indonesia, ikat patterns tied into warp yarns prior to weaving resist the tannins and the mud to create motifs.
In this 4-day workshop at the Threads of Life studio in Bali, Aboubakar Fofana and Threads of Life’s studio dyers will take you on a journey into mud, combining African and Asian practices to teach you all the steps from dirt to dye, so that you can explore the mud dye potentials of the soils and plants of your home neighbourhood. Most of the workshop time will focus on creative projects and Aboubakar will bring his artistry and calligraphic background to mentoring your explorations.