Many of us may have seen or bought indigo products from market. Seldom do we have the privilege to explore the beauty and hardship of a craftsmanship, know the process and knowledge of it from school. For the semester of Spring 2019, there is a course "Blue Across Boarders", which provided students a brief understanding of indigo, from plants, process of making indigo dye to dyeing, also provided them a chance to witness the process and experimented with dyeing by themselves in school.
Before students made indigo dye, indigo artisan, Tai-Yu (戴裕), explained the proportion of indigo, and demonstrated the process of preparing the vat. in addition to indigo dye, the vat is mixed with ash water, malt sugar, rice wine, and left to ferment. On this day, students are like observers to prepare their upcoming workshop – preparing the vat of indigo through sensory feeling like eyes and smell, numbers of proportion and imagination from the objects like wine or malt sugar.
The day after, students started to prepare vat of indigo by themselves with the proportion of indigo they memorized from lecture. For most of students, It is their first time to touch indigo dye, to know the smell of indigo dye. Some of them feel smelly, some of them said that it smelt like grass.