Friday, May 30, 2014

Always a Project in Waiting

In between shibori pole wrapping silk, applying dye and waiting for fabric to dry, which is fast on hot days but takes for ever on rainy humid days I like to keep silk around to paint.  (Actually that's what I always wanted to be when I grew up, a painter, but, because of 4-H and learning to sew from my mom, sewing and hand dyed wearable art became my forte.) Oops, and I've created a new way to address stray paint.  Respond!  Just paint a little flower on top of it!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


The Shibori technique is based on manipulating fabric by wrapping it around a pole or rope, folding and clamping, or stitching. The fabric resists the dye and creates a pattern.     I always place at least three colors, or shades of one color of dye on the cloth.  This creates movement and depth.  The real pleasure attained using the Shibori technique is when you open each steamed package and discover the results!

  1. Make rules
  2. Choose a palette and stick with it
  3. Ask “What if?”

The secret to beautiful texture and blend of color is to not use too much dye by learning to read the flow of the dye in the same way a kayaker reads the river before descending over a 40 foot water fall.  The only way to repeat what you discover is to measure and make notes. (Sorta.  You can never really repeat with shibori. J )

Vinyl Sulphon Dye:   Turq. Yellow, Magenta, Black.  I like to use the color wheel and formulate my own colors.  That way I know what color every other color contains.
Urea water:  ¾ c urea to 4 cups hot water
Add 1 t Ludigol
Use 4 cups Urea water to 7 T dye concentrate
Make soda ash solution.  Add  ½ t Soda ash solution to ½ c dye
I use about 3/4 cof dye for one yard of fabric.  But it could be more or less depending on the fabric and whether or not I want any white.

Soak cotton, rayon, bamboo in soda ash solution til damp then drizzle dye on fabric.  Record differences in dampness before applying dye.

For wool, soak fabric in equal parts vinegar and water with capful of synthrapol.  Record differences in dampness before applying dye by drizzling dye on fabric

Let fabric dry completely before steaming.  Wrap in at least 3 layers of newsprint and muslin.  Place in canner with  about 2” of water on stove. Cover with towels.  Steam for 40 min.  Rinse in hot water with synthrapol til water is clear.

For Cotton, silk, bamboo or rayon:  Wash on delicate cycle, cold water and softener (Dharma).  Be very careful when rinsing rayon as it will tear.  Dry on delicate cycle.  Iron with hot, steam iron  For wool, rinse carefully pressing fabric to remove excess water and dye.  Lay flat to dry, drape or place in washer with drain rinse cycle.  Let air dry.  Iron

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Turquoise, Fuchsia, Yellow orange Triad

I love hot Kentucky days.  My devore silk dries fast.  Yesterday I pole wrapped 12 pieces of silk around six poles.  There were a variety of shapes.  Some were 22 x 80" which will become shawls or ponchos.  Some were 22 x 72" and will become infinity scarves.  Some were 44 x 44" and will become jackets.  Others were 44 x 60" and will become a cape.  I also am experimenting with 44 x40" which will become a bolero!  I dyed them all using the vinyl sulphon dyes in the triad colors of turquoise, fuchsia, and yellow orange.  Even though it is the same combination of colors, each piece will be different, either because of the pattern in the devore, or because the order of applying the dye is different.  That's what I love about color theory and shibori!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Be Playful

The idea is to be playful.  The goal, not busy.  Dyeing several pieces in one palette is turning out to be inspiring.  Sewing began yesterday.  This jacket began as 44 x 44" devore fabric, pole wrapped and dyed using the Vinyl Sulphon pure color dyes in a triad of turquoise, fuchsia and yellow orange.  I like using the pure colors in summer.  Come fall I will move into tones, then shades for winter.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not Busy

I know these are not the most appropriate chairs for one's living room.  They are, however, very comfortable.  And when placed in the zero gravity position they lead to excellent relaxation, hence, meditation and reception of awesome ideas.

The May collection of shibori dyed pieces are complete.  Most are pole wrapped.  A few are rope wrapped.  All pieces are dyed using three colors.  I love the variety. Even Highlin' is enjoying the color.  The empty bowl symbolizes the next step:  sewing a cohesive body of wearable art.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Goal is to be Not Busy

The Goal is to be Not Busy!  And still produce results. 

Step 1.  Tear all pieces of silk to be dyed in one palette of colors.  I don't like to cut out patterns so everything I make is based on tearing, pole wrap shibori dyeing and sewing.

Step 2.  Create a palette that incudes three colors.  This insures that there will be texture rhythm in all my pieces. And because there are several different combinations, there will be variety, all of which contributes to a cohesive body of work. (There's that phrase again. "body of work!"  It's always important to be striving for a body of work.  That way you never get bored, no matter what your artform.)

Step 3.  Hang up an admire your creations so that you have eternal pleasure in your art making.  This collection is based on the triad and split triad of turquoise with a little seque into the analagous colors of red and and orange