Ahh….the first Monday of 2014! And it starts off with a bang!
About my silk shibori ribbon-many folks are asking and wondering…
It was 2006 when I first started practicing and learning shibori techniques. Having closed my porcelain company of 30 years, I wanted a new challenge and a new product to make and sell. Something to continue to sustain me over the next many years. Something highly artistic, beautiful, creative, something that would excite and inspire others to make and create-I know how making can be so very strengthening both mentally and physically. I wanted to continue to be part of that but in another way. I looked for a way. After practicing the arashi shibori technique daily for about 6 months, I wondered. I wondered if one could make ribbon with it. I had never seen it done so I started searching the internet. Nope! Not one image or one mention anywhere that I could find. I searched extensively. Excited, I found a little bit of silk ribbon I had nearby and wanted to wrap it. Around what? Looking around me I grabbed a pencil. Wrapping the ribbon around it my eyes scanned the room for something to wrap it with- some thread. I ran downstairs ( I had been in the bedroom with my bathrobe still on) and went outside and poured some dye over it. Steaming and drying it I opened it up- Shibori Ribbon was born-really way to small and thin and not all that beautiful. But the beauty was in the eye of the beholder, me- and I could see all the glorious possibilities. So it has been a long and interesting path. Littered with miles of beautiful silk and more.
Special thanks to all those who have been teaching and using the ribbon in their classes not just this year but in all the past years since I first came up with this crazy idea. My special thanks goes to the much loved Sherry Serafini who has spread her inspiration and the shibori ribbon all over the world. More thanks to the talented Melanie Dorman who passed on in 2012 and who introduced me to beaded needle weaving and embroidery while we sat back to back at our tables at the Pasadena Bead and Design show some years ago. I was fascinated with her work and she with the ribbon. I think she was the first to see and show me its potential in regards to beaded embroidery work and designed several pieces and classes with it. I was saddened-even shocked, when I went to contact her about something last year and discovered her passing- a reminder…we are here only for the blink of an eye. Adele Sciortino did her part with it in the doll world and introduced it to many doll makers. Art quilters found the ribbon at the quilt shows and put it to work in many inventive ways. It was a pleasure to have them come to the booth and tell me that their quilt entry with the shibori ribbon made it into the show. Crazy quilter Julie Craig of Attic Heirlooms(no website) along with Judith Montano both saw the ribbons potential when I first introduced it at the shows 6 years ago. Kate Tracton (also a Shibori GIrl) found it and made some lovely necklaces with it and her handwoven focal beads. Jude’s words and musings and of course Wendy who keeps a little pile of the ribbons in her therapy room and adds her wisdom to it as she heals. I could fill a whole page with such examples. I thank you all. It is an exquisite privilege to have something I make be part of something you make or do.
Now, entering 2014 there are many, many folks out there enjoying the possibilities and wondering. There are many shops- both online and on the street selling my ribbon. There are two Authorized Etsy resellers of my ribbon who are putting it into the hands of many more creative folks-Michelle, who has been at it for several years now and Lisa who just discovered it late last year and doing a great job getting the word out. This is putting the silk shibori ribbon in the hands of so many creative folks who are dreaming and wondering up so many possibilities. I am overwhelmed! I really couldn’t ask for more shibori love than that.
So it has been a good year and I look back at the slow and manageable uphill burn of the ribbon which makes life around here even possible. I intend as a result of the increasing demand for the ribbon, to be spending more time making the silk shibori ribbon than ever before. I like that it is also helping to support others who resell the ribbon as well as those using it to make things that they in turn sell.
I have been informed that there is someone copying the idea on etsy. I have been approached by a very large company who wants to “blow it up” and eventually have it made in China. No. It is true, there will be copyists- in it for the momentary buck or two. But in the end I will still be here. Know it.
One at a time and everyday- like I said in the beginning of this big adventure.
Now back to the poles. And speaking of poles, Keep warm out there friends. I know some of you are withstanding record cold spells. Janice just emailed me that it is -37 outside her studio in the woods right now. Stand strong-and STAY WARM!