Photos by C. Whitney-Ward
“Indigo presents endless possibilities for learning across various disciplines. Its incredible story is a gateway to connect the personal experiences of our every day lives - for example our own ubiquitous blue jeans - with the history, geography and culture of the whole planet."
Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist and Founder of the Silk Road Project
Indeed there is romance and a kind of poetry to anything Indigo. The deep blue color and it’s alchemy are ancient, dating back to the 4th and 2nd millennium B.C. The art of indigo was a mysterious and highly valuable skill passed on from generation to generation in Africa, India, Indonesia, and China. Marco Polo referenced it in 1298 and the cultivation of indigo on a large scale began in India in the 16th century.
In Celebration of this weekend's International Folk Art Market and the premier of Mary Lance's documentary film "Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo", Santa Fe retailers and galleries are displaying their collections of Indigo. You can stroll past window displays at:
SANTA FE WEAVING GALLERY on Galisteo
SPIRIT CLOTHING STORE on W. San Francisco
Or step inside and see lavish displays of Indigo at:
SHIPROCK SANTA FE on Old Santa Fe Trail
BELLAS ARTES on Canyon Road
THE ANN LAWRENCE COLLECTION on Baca St
CASA NOVA GALLERY on Guadalupe
JOHN RUDDY TEXTILES on W. San Francisco
And, THE TRAVELER'S MARKET at DeVargas Mall
where I snapped all of these lovely Indigo photographs.
The beautiful feather pen with gold nib is by Margot Guerrero @ Traveler's Market.
I couldn't resist posing it.
Each Indigo design is unique, even if created with one of these beautiful stamps. Each creation captures the artistry of the individual maker.
And, Alice Helstrom, who has an ethnic textile/clothing studio at Traveler's Market, just happened to be wearing Indigo when I walked by...
And, here are some historical postcards of Indigo sellers and makers in West Africa.