shibori and new techniques

I've gotten to the point where I don't take many workshops. I've got too many ideas in my head already, and I've enough of a voice as an artist to know that I don't want to corrupt my style. But workshops in techniques are different; they add to my skill set and provide other options for construction of my ideas.

So yesterday I took such a class, in the basics of shibori. The class was held at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois; about 10 miles from my new house. Yay. They sponsor a lot of great classes, including many in fiber.

The teacher was Dagmar Klos, a leading expert in natural dyes and well versed in shibori. We worked on a silk scarf, and after sewing the resist lines dyed the scarves in acid dyes. Today after the piece was dry, I was able to take out the threads and see the results:

I did this by drawing a circle on the silk, then stitching across about every 1/4". When the stitching was done, I pulled up the threads and knotted them--it looked kind of like smocking does, but much tighter. The stitching lines run roughly from 2 o'clock to 8 o'clock. If you don't iron the resulting piece, it stays all puckery and cool. I ironed this one, though. The hardest part turns out to be not cutting the fabric when you're taking the threads out. I know, I was warned. But I'm far sighted, that's my excuse.

Here's another circle I did:

The lines on the sides were supposed to go all the way across; only one of them made it. But this circle was made by stitching around the perimeter, gathering that up tightly, then winding thread around the pouf made in the middle. I purposely left some openings in this wrap so there would be some variation in the circle. Anywhere the thread is tight, the dye can't get into the space--more or less. If you look closely you will see a faint blueness to some of the areas, probably because I didn't wrap it tight enough. But I like the imprecise look.

To see some really nice shibori, and what can be done with it, check out Chicago area artist Frank Connet. He makes quite large pieces with some nice shibori included in them.

And expect to see some in my future work. I have lots of ideas percolating up in my brain...Meanwhile, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year.

That is all.

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

I really want to try that top one - I saw something similar recently on Margaret Cooter's blog.

Years ago when I was dying fabric, I played with something similar to your lower one, except I draped the fabric over a pencil end (or sometimes you can use your finger if you're agile enough) and wrapped it with a rubber band about an inch down, then pulled out the pencil (or finger). Made as many of these little puffs as possible before throwing into the dye vat. Loved the result - get these bullseye type of designs.

So many things to experiment with! I'm with you - only technique classes are of value to me these days, and darn few of them. So lucky you can take advantage of proximity to the arts center.