June 25th – 30th, 2023

Join us for a unique, week-long retreat where we will immerse ourselves in indigo dyeing practice, hand stitching, and fine fringe work with artist and designer, Aboubakar Fofana.


Aboubakar Fofana spent years learning sewing and construction techniques from finimugu (Malian stripcloth).

This retreat offers a special opportunity to learn how to create a 4 panel stripcloth shawl. Aboubakar will guide us through stripcloth construction and the intricate tassel-making methods that compose the beautiful fringe of the shawl. Once the cloth is stitched, we will dye the pieces in an organic indigo vat.

Each participant will receive enough stripcloth yardage to create a 4 panel textile long enough for a fringed shawl or wrap.  Specialty needles and thread are included. Aboubakar will guide you in an in-depth exploration of indigo for individual creative expression.  All the materials are plant or earth-based and organically sourced.

The workshop is 4 days and runs from 10-5 each day.


We will stay in a gorgeous seaside inn on the Maine coast, where hiking, swimming and gardens are just outside of your bedroom door. Your days will be spent in the studio, and meals will be served straight from local chefs. You will learn new skills, make new friends, and awaken the spirit.

Sunday, June 25th, 2023 – Friday, June 30th, 2023

Midcoast Maine

Single Room – King Bed – Water View: $4,500

Shared Room – Two Queen Beds: $3,400

Single Room – King Bed: $4,300

Photographs by Francois Goudier and Katherine Hattori

Born in Mali and raised in France, Aboubakar Fofana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, textiles and natural dyes. He is known for his work in reinvigorating and redefining West African indigo dyeing techniques, and much of his focus is devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials.

Fofana’s work stems from a profound spiritual belief that nature is divine and that through respecting this divinity we can understand the immense and sacred universe. His raw materials come from the natural world, and his working practice revolves around the cycles of nature, the themes of birth, decay and change, and the impermanence of these materials. He sees the conception and realisation of this work as a form of spiritual practice which is shared with his audience.

Fofana is currently deeply involved in creating a farm in conjunction with the local community in the district of Siby, Mali, in which the two types of indigenous West African indigo will be the centerpiece for a permaculture model based around local food, medicine and dye plants. This project hopes to contribute to the rebirth of fermented indigo dyeing in Mali and beyond, and represents his life’s greatest project to date.

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