kim demick is the hands and heart behind __stitch__resist__. during a study abroad program in sierra leone, west africa, the original artist she was meant to apprentice with for stone sculpture had fled the country in anticipation of all the fighting that was happening between the young, military upstarts and the old government institution. She ended up working in Michael Marra’s compound, one of the most recognized batik and gara artists in the country. The fascination with working with natural dyes began the moment she lifted her first cloth from the indigo vat and watched how the exposure to oxygen changed the color from a pale chartruse to a faint baby blue. she continued to be amazed as subsequent dipping revealed deeper and richer shades all the way up to the most prized ultraviolet indigo with a shimmery copper patina that rubs off and anoints the wearer to its mystery. kim even loved the way the dye vat must be carefully nurtured, stirred, fed and kept at a consistant temperature between 110-125 F.
very few people continue the process of working with these natural dyes of antiquity, due to the labor intensive element of this craft. many would not suffer the hours of walking through forest, swamp, and field to harvest the dye plants, let alone commit half of a year to the fermentation process for certain colors, or spend 2 months sewing tiny sticks in a herringbone pattern into several yards of fabric. kim demick is happy to live simply in order to continue this tradition into the new century and participate in a craft several hundred years old, tracing its roots from places as farflung as Indonesia to New Zealand.