Gettin' Busy

Lest ye fear I spent the whole 2001 trip virtually alone and stranded in the middle of nowhere, stay tuned.

Eventually the Master and his wife did return from Seoul and things returned mostly to normal around Grandma's house. That is to say the rain stopped and the labor of natural dyeing resumed. Plus I was able to have actual conversations; not just ones with myself in my own head.

One of the Master's young proteges arrived in a van packed with supplies. We unloaded loads and loads of cotton fabric rolls and stacked them any ol' where.
Before introducing any persimmon juice onto the cotton it all had to be rinse-washed several times. This was done to remove any chemicals on the cloth that might interfere with the coloring. Under the black mesh canopy that shaded the pavemented side yard, we rinsed countless rolls of cotton. From bin to bin, several rinses for each, then into the spin cycle of a lidless industrial-sized washing machine. After the spin cycle, we haphazardly hung the wet rolls over lines strewn across the front "yard."
The sun would do the drying work, and we would shift the fabric around as it dried. It didn't seem to matter that the cloth dragged in the mud from the previous rainy days. Chemicals, bad. Mud, good. It added character. Plus it would probably wash off during the repeated dyeing phases.
In the background of the above shot you can see a large shed. It was a newer addition to the property and it was filled with cotton; both dyed and un-dyed (er, not yet dyed). In the back left of the photo is a fig tree. We ate the figs that had fallen to the ground.
Tired, sore, hungry, but not bored or alone, I sat down to take rice with Grandma, the Master, his wife, and the young helper who drove the van.

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