June 2011: Michely Andreotti, Paradise Tie Dyes
Sometime last fall a very bright spot started to appear around the Market. It really caught my eye on grey fall days - an entire booth swathed in the brightest, intricate tie dyes! I just went ahead and assumed that a long experienced, expert tie dye artist had moved into the area and joined the ranks of Market's other long experienced, expert tie dye artists.
This past Saturday I decided that this bright spot should be the Beautiful Booth of the Month, and fortunately there was enough momentary sun to give the booth a nice backlit glow. Naturally my first question for Michely Andreotti, long experienced expert tie dye artist, was "how long have you been tie dyeing?" His answer, "Oh, about one year." What? Did he say ONE year?! Scratch that assumption.
As it turns out, Michely is a long time tie dye connoisseur and collector, having collected tie dyes up and down the west coast for years. When he decided it was time to add some color and variety to life, learning to make tie dye was a natural choice. Not just any old tie dye, but collector quality tie dye. He taught himself, using several locally produced instructional videos and some library books. I assume some trial and error were involved as well, but there I go again with the assumptions...
What Michely loves best is making the giant tapestries, developing intricate, expanding cycles of color, experimenting and learning to add detail and crispness. Since most of us no longer decorate our pads with tapestries on the ceilings and walls, there is not a big market for them. So he employs his talents on a smaller scale on t-shirts and bandanas as well. Peace signs and guitars are the most popular designs.
He also has talents as a poet, and offers a book of his "Kosmic poetry from the Higher-Side" entitled "Minds Free," for donations to benefit the Kareng Fund. The Kareng Fund is an emergency relief fund for Marketeers that helps members out with some financial support when career threatening disasters occur.
Here's something I'm not making an assumption about - Michely Andreotti loves being a part of the Saturday Market as much as he loves tie dye. I had an inkling and he confirmed it. He says he loves bringing his vibrant colors to the Market mix, loves making friends with neighbors and customers, having conversations, watching the Market flow through the day. It feels like home. Isn't it great that it's a home where there's still a tie dyed tapestry on the ceiling?
Michely doesn't have a reserved space, so you can find him by asking at the Info Booth, or just having a look around for that bright spot...
Michely's poetry book offered for donations.
Cosmic flower designs are a favorite for Michely to make.
Peace signs and guitars are popular with customers.
The backdrop tapestry features an intricately detailed center.
The roof is equally intricate.
Taken earlier this season, the booth is bright on a rainy Saturday.
It even makes the rainy sidewalk more cheerful...