Limited Artist Series: California Clay

Limited Artist Series: California Clay

95.00

Limited edition artist made. Dyed with California clay by Oakland based artist Rosa Novak.

Origins: Organic cotton grown in USA, yarn spun and knit in the Carolinas, sewn in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dyed with eroded California clay by Rosa Novak in Oakland.

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Dyeing with clay is a process of steeping in local clay. The coated fiber is then dried to a sandy crust, and holds it’s shape more like a piece of earth than a piece of fabric.

Dyeing with clay is a process of steeping in local clay. The coated fiber is then dried to a sandy crust, and holds it’s shape more like a piece of earth than a piece of fabric.

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The process of dyeing with clay

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Rosa Novak is an Oakland artist digging local clays for ceramic and dye applications. She is interested in the intersection of land use histories, soil science, waste-cycling, and place-based making.

These shirts were dyed with naturally eroded iron-rich clay collected from the coast of California. This particular clay was collected from fallen soil below a bluff on the beach, after a storm this past spring.

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Dyeing with clay is a process of steeping in slip - local clay and mineral-rich soil and water - over the course of weeks. The coated fiber is then dried to a sandy crust, and holds it’s shape more like a piece of earth than a piece of fabric.

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Once the clay dye is discharged, the color of the dry soil remains as a dye in the fabric. The longevity of this color depends on the soil and amount of wear. To lengthen the dye’s vibrance, hand wash with gentle detergent as infrequently as possible. If worn more heavily, the shirt will not lose its color all at once, but will naturally fade to new shades of golden clay yellow.