Indigo Colloquium

The Year of Ethnobotany: North American Indigo Projects
Sunday, 31 March 2019 at UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA

Slow Fiber Studios and UC Botanical Garden collaborated in presenting the North American Indigo Projects with guest speakers, including world-renowned natural dye expert Michel Garcia from France; Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors, Tennessee; and Rowland Ricketts, Indiana. Their presentations will be followed by a discussion panel with Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed; Craig Wilkinson, Sonoma; Graham Keegan, Los Angeles; and a moderator, Yoshiko Wada, Berkeley.


Keynote speaker, botanist, phytochemist, and dyer, Michel Garcia presents a PowerPoint lecture on Indigo.

Shop Link to Michel Garcia’s latest DVD IV “Beyond Mordants & Indigo Intensive”

Shop Link to Michel Garcia’s DVD III “Organic Dyes to Pigments”

Shop Link to Michel Garcia’s DVD II “Colors of Latin America”

Shop Link to Michel Garcia’s DVD I “Colors of Provence”

Curator, Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s gallery talk at “African American Quilts,” exhibited at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, U.K. 2007, and Nagoya Dome, World Quilt Carnival, Nagoya, Japan, 2005.  Recorded by Andrew Galli of Galli Creative.

Currently, the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive is hosting the Rosie Lee Tompkins: Retrospective Exhibition  February 19 – July 19, 2020.

Lawrence Rinder, BAMPFA Director gives a visual tour of the exhibiton.

Sunshine & Surprise, African American Quilts

From the Collections of Eli Leon and Robert & Helen Cargo.

Yoshiko Wada curates this wonderful exhibition of African American Quilts from major private collectors in the USA. The work represents living and deceased artists who work with scrap fabrics to produce traditional log cabin and unconventional designs on cloth. Arbie Williams’ “Britches Quilt” sees the transformation of overalls set against a floral background — complete with brand labels and pockets. Rosie Lee Tompkins “Three Sixes” quilt is actually the work of “Effie Mae Howard” who would not allow her real name to be used in her work until after her death. This exhibition includes several acclaimed African American artists whose works are now in major private and public collections.

Shop Link to Nui Project I from Shobu Gakuen Social Welfare Facility in Kagoshima, Japan.

Shop Link to Nui Project II from Shobu Gakuen Social Welfare Facility in Kagoshima, Japan.

Textile researcher Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and boro collector and book editor, Kim Shuefftan discuss Japanese boro textiles in their collections. Filmed by Andrew Galli of Galli Creative. 

Boro (Rag) Patchwork Japanese Quilts



The Japanese term “boro” refers to objects that have been used, broken, and in the case of textile, worn to tatters and sometimes extensively repaired and used beyond their expected life cycle. Boro which once meant a ‘rag’ or castaway cloth, now means a great deal more.  Boro inspired textile connoisseurs to amass collections; fashion designers to incorporate tatters and repairs in their work; some artists to mimic the mending language; and museums and galleries to host boro exhibitions since 2000. 

Shop Link to Sashiko Thread from Japan

Shop Link to Nui Shibori Thread from Japan