Cultivation, color and cloth is the framework for this fall’s ongoing Marigold collaboration between Louise Eastman and myself, Janis Stemmermann. For our first series of the season, we printed marigolds on large scarf panels of lightweight wool and silk.
Special thanks to Russell, our project gardener, who spent many months of climbing up and down the roof-top ladder keeping the marigolds thriving. This year, to get the most out of our rainwater cistern, Russell engineered a water drip system to keep the plants alive through the summer heat waves.
We experimented growing and printing four varieties: Mexican Tarragon tagetes lucida, Lemon Gems tagetes tenufolia, Traditional French Blend tagetes patula nana and large African bloom tagetes erecta. We learned that the largest variety, the African marigold takes a disproportional amount of water to keep alive and that marigolds printed in the beginning of the season yield a brighter color on the fabric.
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