Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tie-Dye Flashbacks

This shot on Lena Corwin's blog flooded me with memories of childhood.

No, I didn't grow up on a commune. But I did spend every summer for eight years at Pro-Art Summer Camp (now defunct), which is exactly where I would be on a day like today. It was a day camp attended primarily by precocious, hammy, artistic children, many of whom I still count amongst my closest friends. We had several traditions at this camp — singing "Sally the Camel," raising money for St. Jude's and holding a dance-a-thon and building papier-mache dinosaurs for reasons I still don't understand. We learned a lot of cool artistic skills that I wish I still had and one of them was tie-dying. 

Every year, we'd bring in a plain white t-shirt, knot it up with rubber bands and line up to dip and twist our shirts in plastic vats of RIT dye. Eventually the shirts were set aside and the rubber bands came off to reveal twisted designs of our own creation. We LOVED it. I had an entire drawer of these t-shirts. I was totally that impatient kid whose shirts were barely saturated — never red, always pink. 

I would love to take some of my many boring white shirts and make sophisticated, grown-up tie-dye. Does anyone want to join in on this adventure? I think it could be awesome.


Sara said...

You may know of my soon to be executed plans of grown up tie dye. The biggest factor is getting high quality dyes. When i took "crafts" at CNU we used dyes from Dharma trading ( They have super vibrant colors, and it doesn't fade the way RIT and those tie dye kit dyes do. That said, We're doing tie dyed bandannas at the library in a week or so, and i'm using the kits...

Amanda said...

I'm down!