Things are getting going in the online indigo workshop. The first assignment was to create a vat and make swatches -these came out of the indigo lime fructose vat.
Last weekend’s itajime workshop at the JANM was more shibori fun. Many thanks to my intrepid JANM assistant Keiko who brought green tea and mochi to celebrate girls day. She really is the best!
It was fun to concentrate on one particular technique since we only have a few short hours to practice. We get to develop a better understanding of what we are doing and do it several times over. It was nice to see so many old shibori and indigo friends. We practiced on many types of silk with the colorhue dyes. It was a real pleasure to see everyone having such a good time enjoying silk and color! Itajime was the perfect choice for the workshop considering the upcoming exhibit at the museum:
Folding Paper-the infinite possibilities of origami
a few photos from the workshop:
Is it seriously the end of January? I have been remiss…but busy at other things. Shibori things, indigo things, workshop things, organizing things, sales tax things (ick!), among other things. Those of you signing up for the online indigo workshop that starts in march- many thanks. You will receive an email mid February discussing what materials to begin gathering.
We are also having some company this week…some busy hands who were helping me sort ribbons into color piles this morning as I stitched some shibori ribbon flowers for an order. A simple beauty as he discovered each color and opened and closed the pleats. Later on, we did some painting. He keeps his mom very busy and anyone else in close proximity!
The 2 day indigo workshop at the JANM was a real treat- a great group as usual. Some very beautiful fabrics were created. Photos and more on that later in a separate post but there is one more workshop coming up at the JANM March 3-follow the link to sign up.
But the really exciting news is that my friend from Nagoya-Richard Carbin, mandala dyer extraordinaire is coming to teach mandala dyeing at my studio in Long Beach Feb. 18-19. This will be a real treat. The workshop is limited to 4 people as it will be hard to manage more right now. You can read more about the workshop and sign up here.
Here is a small selection of Richard’s mandala work:
Richard and I became fans of each others work via Flickr several years ago and more recently on Facebook. Richard is an ex-pat living in Nagoya Japan with his wife and two boys. Last May when I visited Japan for the Silk Study and the Arimatsu Shibori Festival, we made a pact to meet up and get to know each other better and in person. We visited late into the night (you know how dyers can be…) . He has a unique talent with techniques he has developed over many years and will be teaching his mandala dye technique here in my Long Beach workspace next month. I will assist and add indigo to the mix along with some other surprises.
Way back then I was taken by the beauty and skill of his dye work. I have been doing some thinking lately on beauty and I believe it is at the core of what we tend to think of as art. No matter what name we give it, we humans seem to have a need for it-whether we observe the beauty around us or whether we create it. Beauty calms us, it can capture timeless moments and asks us to slow down and observe. Beauty speaks to a higher order, is captivating, and allows us to see into the heart of things. Richard’s mandalas are like that to me- like I am looking into the core of beauty.
(Check out more of Richard’s work on Flickr here.)
a moon appeared in the vat…
this was the lime glucose (like fructose but since i had glucose…) vat i made last week. i’m experimenting and preparing for upcoming events.
- JANM (Japanese American National Museum) 2 day workshop Jan 21-22
-High Desert Silk Experience 3 day round robin workshop with Katrina Walker and June Colburn
-a new online indigo 5 week workshop beginning in March
-a few more things in the works and will let you know as soon as things firm up.
Today’s weather is the title of this song-an arrangement and recording of a traditional folk song by one of my son’s musical projects. This is one of the things you do while pursuing a recording and performance degree. It’s free to listen to and a buck to download to your hard drive or iTunes. I particularly like this song. I’m glad to know that kids these days also enjoy traditional folk music enough to create their own versions of it.
The online class is keeping me busy with lessons and the class blog so I haven’t posted here in nearly a month. The Puyallup show came and went, the Cincinnati show is on the horizon and the Japan silk study tour follows that. We are hoping for the best and our thoughts wander to our beloved Japan and her people enduring grave hardships and loss with such grace and human dignity, spirit and resolve. There is much to admire. There are some great resources and help being rallied online. Some blogs describe the experiences as they are occurring, offering insight, hope and understanding.
Yesterday, I lead an indigo workshop at the JANM (Japanese American National Museum). We began the workshop with a short silent meditation in honor of those affected by the earthquake, tsunami, and ongoing nuclear crisis. Then we got to work!
A little video from the afternoon:
It was a great afternoon! Now very windy and rainy! Extreme weather advisory for LA county is in effect until 7:30.
as i have done in the past, i have posted a few of the silk shibori ribbon scrap bags in the big cartel shop for those of you who won’t be making it to Houston for the show. These ribbon scrap bags are always coveted by stitchers, quilters (especially crazy q types), and ribbon artists for their variety and price so I always like to include you readers here in on the deal.
go crazy, but i suggest you do it quickly!
I am in the throws of packing boxes and getting things together (ordering electricity and so forth) -sheesh just trying to stay organized while not forgetting anything for the booth, 2 workshops, a lecture and who knows what else- i’m starting to think i just might pull it all together…
yesterday at the Japanese American National Museum we just had a grand old time…
the next workshop there is a 4 hour indigo class in March. better sign up early for that one…
- a little video from yesterday…aside from the indigo, everyone did an itajime scarf using the colorhue.
and a pic of the spider lily in the back yard- i even have narcissus coming up-crazy!
Once again, I am giving a workshop at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
phone: (213) 625-0414
When:Saturday Oct. 2, 2010 1-4PM
Cost:$35 members; $40 non-members, an additional $25 materials fee (cash only) will be collected at the beginning of class, museum admission is included. RSVP
Intermediate Shibori Class with Shibori Girl
Bring along your sense of wonder and discover what further possibilities await you when we gather together again and build on shibori techniques presented in previous shibori workshops here at the JANM. This intensive workshop will have you working on intricately stitched shibori designs and larger itajime pieces. A small indigo vat will be on hand for those who feel a little “blue”. All ages- kids and adults alike from previous workshops are welcome. $35 members; $40 non-members, an additional $25 materials fee (cash only) will be collected at the beginning of class, admission is included. RSVP early, 25 students max.
things continue to change around here and this piece reminded me that colors are changing too.
summer colors turn to fall.
the magic of the dyepot yielded this beauty which seemed even further proof that fall will arrive soon, even here in southern california.
over at the dyepot, indigo has been the color of the week. new video up tomorrow along with your new password. also a little test of an organic lime vat. something new. (you can subscribe anytime during the month and still see past videos)
~for anyone interested in the history of Japanese internment in the LA area, there is this on Saturday.
…also posted the latest events over on the event page only to realize that the Houston all day shibori workshop was already sold out. the silver lining is that you don’t have to go all the way to TX for a shibori class. my workshop at the Japanese American National Museum on Oct 2nd, 1-4 pm still has spaces. those attending will also get to see the sneak preview trunk show of some of the new shibori i will be featuring in Houston. i will also be bringing a taste of indigo to play with too- a preview of a longer, all indigo workshop coming up at the JANM-details to follow. call them at (213) 625-0414 to reserve your spot.
wisteria has a mind of its own and i haven't the desire to tame its wild wanderings
these past two weeks have been a bit of a blur around the studio and it seems i am struggling to keep up with some things.
in the midst of the indigo dyeing for jude and others, the new bigcartel shop, ribbons, and workshops i feel more than a little scattered which is not a good thing for me.
when i am more focused i can infuse more energy into the work and paying closer attention to the nuances brings me closer to the work i want to do. this is where i really prefer to live when it comes to my work.
i enjoyed and completed teaching the 5 week online shibori dyeing class which took a lot of energy over these past few weeks. two workshops at the Los Angeles Japanese American National Museum (JANM) were great fun and they have asked me to confirm several more dates. while all this is good and helping to keep the bills paid around here it does make dedicated studio time all the more precious. long days in the studio, one after another is where i really do my best work and this past month and a half have made my studio time much more dischordant.
nonetheless, i have devoted most studio time this past month to the indigo vats. yes, vats! i started a new natural fermentation vat about a week ago and it is coming along. spring warmed things up and the new vat started turning green a couple of days ago. by yesterday it was smelling pretty “good”. i even dipped a sample which turned blue but isn’t quite there yet. this sort of vat is all new to me so i am being patient with myself. keeping the indigo vats working on a daily basis adds a rhythm and a structure that i like. like keeping pace and a practice of noticing. i am much more aware of its nuances when i work with it on a daily basis. mostly i leave the stitching (other than the silk shibori ribbon!) to jude and others but in one of those little synchronistic dances this flag began to emerge. it is still revealing itself to me as i practice some stitching while studying the history of some past cloth makers from Japan. perhaps it is a flag of remembrance, of seas and tides and moons. of fishermen and farmers and the women who wove their fabrics and stitched them with a million tiny intentional stabs into precious fabric. at least these are the things that i think about while working on this piece. also part of what slow cloth is saying to me.
jude has noticed it too and although our collaborations might appear recent, it has been 3 years now i have been sending her pieces of silk. some of the first pieces i sent to her were from shibori demonstrations i did with kids at the LA Cherry Blossom Festival- she used some of them here-
when i see the back side of the piece i think of all the fabrics sent back and forth and remember how she used a small scrap of some early arashi shibori to represent a stand of trees, her small stitches rooting it to the ground and tiny embroidered leaves growing from the treetops.
over time we’ve patiently watered and fed those roots, watching and learning from each other. like she pointed out in her most recent post-often our best work comes from focusing on what we do best and letting others do their own magic once it leaves our hands. i have been doing this for a very long time-some of you might remember these, or these, and these. there were many more and people STILL ask me about them!
over the past three years we have built on those early exchanges constructing a communication that is verbal, visual and often meandering . an openness to communal “what-iffing” (something i found early on to be central to shibori itself and something jude explores regularly in her other blog-what if?)
with spring and a feeling of lightness forthcoming, even in places where the cold and wet try to hang on a little bit longer (those of you like Elaine of slow cloth and red thread studio who live in CO know all too well from last weeks snowstorm) jude started stitching up things using some of the lighter silks i had been sending which of course led to me making more and more gossamer watercolor silks, light floaty transparent silks that even attract the hummingbirds as they float in the air to dry.
just loaded up my bigcartel shop with collections of lovely spring colorways to get you started. no two just alike as always. 3 sets of some and ones on the more decadent sortings.
i can also do full yards of silk gauze in the colors shown. will be posting up some full yards soon.
there’s much more that’s been going on but most of it will have to be said in pictures on flickr for now. that’s what happens when i allow for too much at once. some slowing down is required. time for a visit to the favorite surf spot with the kids who are off for spring break now and making music all around me.
It hardly seems possible that it has been almost 3 weeks since my last post here but if you have been keeping up in various other places ( slow cloth, facebook, my online class, my new bigcartel shop, JANM to name a few) you know it has been a very busy 3 weeks.
I have restocked the bigcartel shop with more indigo- 10 sets each of the boro packs, the bookmarks, and the indigo moons. I know there are still a few sets in transit as it took me a couple of weeks to get through the last batch of orders with everything else I had going on. I also rearranged the outdoor wet studio to better accommodate the daily indigo dyeing that is taking place. This next set of orders will all be shipped out next Tuesday, latest! Each new indigo order will include one of what I call my “penny moons”.
Penny moons are just that- tiny little inchies (1.5×1.5) on silk noil made using pennies and of course, indigo dyed. Each bigcartel order gets one as a gift but you can order a set of 5 penny moon inchies all by themselves if you like.
The shibori workshop for kids at the JANM (Japanese American National Museum) this past weekend was really great fun. The main room was filled all day with parents and kids doing crafts make & take style. My workshop was in a separate classroom and was full with 20 kids for the full 2 hours. They really got to experiment and had a lot of fun learning about the different ways one could make shibori. Even the little ones did some stitched work. The itajime is their favorite though. They could make penny moons all day long and never make two alike! they also love playing with the colors and most had never dyed anything before. You can see a set of photos here.
(Just a note- the shibori workshop for “big kids” on the 27th at JANM is sold out)
I have been stitching on a few things- mostly indigo related. I had some scrap indigo cloth left over from the boro packs and thought I would make my own version of a “topsy-turvy” doll. Probably for as long as people have been sewing, rag dolls have been made with scraps. I have two special rag dolls I have saved from the early 1900′s -presumably made by my great grandmother. They are all cloth and one is near threadbare. Both have one black and one white face. My doll is indigo blue and each side has a simple stitched face. I will make a few of these. I’m making one now for Wendy’s kids. I imagine these dolls will be good listeners.
I will also be adding some new spring silk packs in the coming days (as soon as I get some photos taken) which will include what I call “hummingbird silk” -light, airy, watercolor silks for stitching and making.