During this 3-day workshop with Aboubakar Fofana at Threads of Life in Bali, you will be inspired by resist dye surface design techniques from the perspectives of two continents. Through the lens of Aboubakar’s creativity, you will learn the cassava paste resist tradition of Mail and the batik wax resist techniques of Indonesia with natural dyes including indigo blue and Ceriops brown.
Using vats of indigo blue and tannin brown prepared during his first two workshops in Bali, Aboubakar and the Threads of Life team will teach cassava paste preparation and application, batik wax application by canting (pen) and cap (stamp), cloth handling in the dye vat, and finishing to remove the paste and wax. Most of the workshop will focus on creative exploration, inspired and informed by Aboubakar’s calligraphic and artistic practices.
Aboubakar Fofana was born in Mali and raised in France, and is a calligrapher, textile designer, artist and master dyer. His work is motivated by a love for the natural world and its cycles and rhythms, a deep concern for the environment, and a vision to share the luxury and beauty of goods produced using indigenous materials and techniques whilst helping to reinvigorate and sustain important traditions. His atelier is in Bamako, Mali, and he regularly travels the world giving workshops and lectures, and meeting others who work with natural dyes and textiles.
At the Threads of Life dye studio and dye garden in Ubud, Bali, we teach and produce with dye recipes we have learned from across the Indonesian archipelago, collaborating as peers with the master dyers we work with in the field. Aboubakar and Threads of Life share an approach to natural dyeing that seeks plant-sourced dyes by plant-sourced processes and avoids synthetic additives or mordents. And where Aboubakar finds the root of this approach in his West African animistic heritage, our staff dyers find their inspiration in the animistic practices articulated through Indonesia’s indigenous textile traditions. Bringing these two traditions together promises to be a vibrant and exciting experience.
• Morning and evening transfers to and from the workshop location at the Threads of Life dye studio (Umajati Retreat).
• Workshop time from 10:00-1:00 and 2:00-5:00 each day, dye materials, fabric and yarn for workshop exercises.
• Lunch from 1:00-2:00 at the studio. Free flow drinking water, tea and coffee throughout the day.
• International airfares are not included.
• Accommodations in Ubud are not included, and we recommend that participants find a place to stay along the route of the morning and evening shuttle between Ubud and the workshop location at Umajati Retreat. The shuttle route is marked in red on the location map below.
• Limited to 15 participants.
• Minimum of 10 participants. Participants will be informed once minimum participation is achieved and are advised not to book airfares until the workshop is confirmed. If minimum participation is not reached by 30 October 2022 the workshop may be cancelled and all workshop fees returned.
24 March 2023: Day 1
• Scouring cloth for dye work
• Preparing cassava paste
• Cassava resist application and dyeing exercises with one colour (indigo)
• Batik wax resist application and dyeing exercises with one colour (indigo)
• Removal of paste and wax, and finishing (washing)
25 March 2023: Day 2
• Cassava resist application and dyeing exercises with two colours (indigo and Ceriops brown)
• Batik wax resist application and dyeing exercises with two colours (indigo and Ceriops brown)
• Begin personal creative projects
26 March 2023: Day 3
• Personal creative projects