About

ABOUT INDIGO HILL

Indigo Hill is an art studio, gallery and shop located in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, that features textile-based works by Canadian artisans. We have a particular interest in works made using raw materials sourced from the Canadian landscape, be they the natural dyes used to colour and pattern the textiles, or the fibres used to create them. We offer classes on many topics related to Slow Textiles (textiles made with intention, by hand, with respect for the humans and land resources that contribute to its making), and strive through our actions to help makers and consumers connect with our local fibre community.

Andrea Belcham

Andrea Belcham (Image by Yellow Rose Photography)

ABOUT NATURAL DYEING

Natural dyeing as a practice has a complex and extensive history that crosses many cultures. At Indigo Hill we acknowledge and honour the many hands and inquisitive minds that have developed dyeing processes from which we now benefit. We appreciate dyes that are derived from natural ingredients like plants, insects and minerals as capable of producing a beautiful range of colours that are reflective of the land. Here, we also favour fibres that are connected to the land: wool, organic cotton, alpaca, mohair, silk, linen and hemp, to name a few. Natural dyeing is a slow process that requires the proper preparation of fibres to receive the dye and a careful selection and brewing or application of the dye materials. Yet even with this measured, scientific approach, the results are always for us like opening a present: wonderful, delightful, unexpected, unique. In our work, we use dye matter foraged from the local landscape, grown in our dye garden, and imported from other lands with rich natural dye histories. We are mindful to forage ethically at a rate that is sustainable and we seek out dye suppliers that build mutually beneficial partnerships with farmers.

INDIGO HILL IS A SPACE FOR

  • art and play: in natural dyeing, the use of raw plant materials (bark, seeds, cones, roots, leaves, flowers…) to imprint colour upon fibres is a magical, surprising and ever-evolving process; how the hands take these imprinted fibres — or indeed any fibres — and make them into new forms is also magical, surprising and ever-evolving!
  • empowerment through education: through our classes and the supplies we offer in our shop we hope to help people gain the skills to engage in textile production in ways that are sustainable for them and the environment
  • community connections: we aim to showcase the work of local textile artisans and provide a marketplace for fibre farmers and other producers in the region’s fibre-shed

ABOUT ANDREA

Indigo Hill is owned and operated by Andrea Belcham. Andrea has a long and winding personal history of dabbling in the textile arts — including quilting, rug-hooking, sashiko embroidery, spinning, knitting and doll-making — but it’s natural dyeing that has captured her heart. In the warmer months, you can often spot her crouched along the wayside, harvesting “weeds” to brew in her dye pots. She transforms her dyed fibres into unique accessories, dolls, ornaments and other functional/whimsical creations, all of which you can find in the Indigo Hill shop.

WHY “INDIGO HILL”?

“Indigo Hill” is a literal description of the horizon as viewed from my home just outside of town: the distant, slightly mysterious Laurentian mountains rise and fall as dusty blue shadows on grey days, and as bolder indigo forms when the sun is out and the sky is clear. But indigo is also one of my favourite natural dye plants, yielding such an array of tints both by itself (depending on the strength of the indigo dye vat and the number of times fibres are dipped into it) and when layered on top of colours derived from other natural dye plants. Indigo Hill is a name that pays homage to the natural landscape that inspires and provides the raw materials for my dyeing work. — Andrea

Location

26 Main St. East,
Vankleek Hill, Ontario

Hours

Sun. & Mon.: CLOSED
Tue. to Thu.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fri.: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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