Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Fun

Today I tried natural dye stuff with Arashi Shibori - some rose petals, raspberry tea and onion skins. I kept seeing food in the results, too - ripple potato chips:and the icing swirls on top of a vanilla slice - must have been time for a snack!
Here's the whole, which was a light beige to begin with.
And I did a little Sekka Shibori using the Colourhue dyes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Shibori

Swimming in Shibori...
Arashi Shibori has such glorious texture - but I was too eager to see what pattern I'd made to let it dry this way. Maybe next time - maybe :)
This is the Maki Nui Shibori pictured in the top photo collage, now dyed and with stitching removed. A spotty, rather disappointing look. I have had very limited success with the stitched shibori, overall.
These dye painting and dipping experiments are samples to see what's possible.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Texture With Stitch

I decided to work with stitching a small piece of silk for Orinui Shibori. The transformation of the texture on this is amazing - a little bouncy, 3 D and alive! Almost a shame to pull those ties...The stitched side has interesting texture, too. It is now tightly bound into such a small bit that I made sure I placed it in my studio last night instead of leaving it on the coffee table in case someone might mistake it for a kleenex and toss it. I am excited to dye it because yesterday I got more colours of the Colorhue dye.
I also continue to stitch this cloth:
And I completed this - a moment of wonder in the early morning when it was snowing at the cove which you may recognize, as it's based on a photo I took and previously posted on this blog. Other then the rectangular outline, I didn't draw any of it with a marker but used my eye and the machine, as I wanted to keep it fresh and alive - and I wasn't going for an exact rendering:
This will be in the exhibition and sale at the Victoria College of Art beginning this Friday night and continuing in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Our class has covered alot of ground and there will be much to see, as well as all the work done by the other classes in various mediums.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bare Bones

Alot can happen in a few days, and when I don't blog about it fairly promptly, my impetus to record it, fizzles, as I have moved on. Since my last entry, I have thread painted Tried Itajime shibori on wool and photo collaged it with this swan I met
Tried Mokume shibori on wool twice without getting a well defined pattern - perhaps felt's pile doesn't allow for the stitch lines to show well - or maybe there is something else I could try. I do love the look of resist dyed felt, though, and think it has alot of promise.
And here I was trying an overall shibori pattern on silk divided into six squares - three with blossoms and three with twelve lines of horizontal and vertical stitch. No clear pattern again, which was disappointing after all the stitching and knotting.

This last photo is from the Westshore Quilt Guild's show and is a machine from 1885 - love the curvy shape!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Exploring Further

More shaving cream and dye exploration - I'm pleased with the marbled look: And making this was an interesting discovery... combining drawing with dye.
Here I've overdyed with tumeric and when I compare this to the overdye with Procion yellow I did, I much prefer this because it's not as loud and the previous colour shows through here and there, creating more depth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Disappearing Stitches

I had an idea to dye some itajime moons first with grey and than to stitch mokume style onto them and dye each a seperate colour of the rainbow. The first one with Colorhue dye worked out pretty well, although the colours aren't to my liking. I repeated the process, this time using yellow Procion and when I removed the stitching, no pattern was evident. I'm not sure why - maybe the necessary longer batching time for Procion allowed the colour to seep into the crevices beneath the stitching? Maybe Procion and stitched shibori do not work well together. You can see the differences in the photo below between the plain moon, the pink mokume one, yellow Procion and the last one I used shaving cream and dye to pattern drifting clouds over.
When I was using the shaving foam, I noticed an interesting pattern of the dyes I was using on a lid and put this moon in it. I like the orange glow at the edges of these clouds.

I also experimented with creating woodgrain and a grid pattern with the lower right silk.

This one I swirled to look like a wood knot.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


With the arrival of spring we are moving from darker days into more light. Signs like these new baby goats are emerging
and flowers.

The seasons are patterns in nature - interconnected as they merge from one to the next.

And some patterns are more spread out - long range, like last night's super moon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shibori in the Grass

A shibori crocus - or at least that was my thought when this caught my eye on a walk. I am continuing to work with sequential use of the different types of dye that I have and am trying further stitch variations.
But not all of my stitches are being removed from fabric - I am leaving them in on my rabbit cloth.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stitched Shibori

New blossoming in my garden... some stitched Shibori. As it seems with all things stitch-related, there is so much possible with this technique. This is Orinui, which is over stitched on the fold before dyeing - and I also tried Mokume, or lines of running stitch, but not very successfully, so will experiment further.
And here is an attempt at Makiage shibori overtop of some pale itajime I previously dyed. While my stitched pattern wasn't defined after dyeing, I do like the halo effect and variety of colours and ghosts of patterns. One piece of cloth can hold a whole history. I like how each layer adds complexity and depth and continues to spin a story.

With this Makiage, I unintentionally stitched one corner to the rest, but decided to leave it that way to see what would happen after I dyed it. A happy accident, in my opinion!

So - a start on stitched shibori that promises to add many more patterns, shapes and colours to my garden.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Filling Space With Colour

I started this piece the day before Japan's earthquake/tsunami, and the following night as I was drifting to sleep I saw a rolling wave of coloured dye washing over cloth and thought how colour seeping into uncoloured cloth was a mirror of my consciousness shifting into a dreaming state - a kind of dissolving from one place to another . Later, with the advent of the news, additional layers of meaning have come to me and I am stitching this as a prayer - thinking about protection, faith and innocence and how we are all connected. I am also filling this silk with colour on my Pfaff, expressing different feelings. There is such a visual and tactile difference between hand and machine embroidery, although both can be used to create colourful forms expressing meaning. I am aware of how much closer I feel to work I do that is handstitched. The machine seems to put distance between me and the piece. Why is that and can it be altered? For each type of embroidery, I have to watch the fabric and thread carefully, but with handstitch, I am more 'in touch' -and it's more direct as I am the means of plying the needle. I guess it's like meeting in person versus talking on the phone or email. A connection is made, but with an aspect of sensory perception missing and with a device there as mediator.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mixing it Up

Aaah, silk velvet - it just drinks in colour. I am trying Procion dye with shibori techniques, now - overdyeing this one that was first dyed with Jaquard
and this silk satin was Procion first, followed by Colourhue. Kind of weird colours emerged.

I like the pattern I got here, but it's pretty bright!

And my partner found a pile of linens for me at an estate sale - a nice surprise and there are some real beauties!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shape Expansion

I went looking for signs of spring yesterday and found new growth and variable weather.
No surprise I'm noticing petals and reflected pattern as I'm continuing to explore itajime and got a few more shapes to use. I am noticing putting more care into it - even though the opening of the silk is still a revelation because I'm never sure how well the pattern will come out or how the colours will blend and how they will all work together.

Here I have used two hearts - you may be able to see the slightly lighter glow of the inner one. The design is fairly crisp throughout the length of this, so I'm improving on that. I am thinking I really do need to get the other primaries of Colorhue dyes, because their simplicity would be a real asset to this kind of exploration.

Here's one more:

And I've also been handstitching the rabbit cloth.