Category Archives: online workshop

taking stock and making it

the time has come again to restock the shop with ribbon and to that end my friend donna came by yesterday to help.  we do a little time-trading now and again which suits us both and helps get things done.  many emails ask me to let you know when more scrap bags are available and when new ribbons get added which is a difficult thing for me to do-except by saying so here.

click over to the shop to see what is available (generally 3 of each) plus a pile of scrap bags:

there is also a bit of indigo left- one pack  and this one has a dragonfly in it.  these are samples made to show techniques in the online indigo workshop.

and while i was at it i made some more moons.   it was night time by then.

drying by moonlight

Indigo blues

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The vats took a nap for a couple of days while cold air whipped through southern California. I woke them up yesterday afternoon, the sun having warmed them a bit. I tied this piece on cotton a few days back, wondering how I would dye it. The other end is ombré dyed and I think I will mount it for a wall piece. This is Richards technique put to another use.

ready, set, indiGO!

I am almost ready to launch the new online indigo workshop-lesson one. I will close registration on Sunday night. I am excited and honored to have such a great group gathered from so many places and with so many talents-all indigo-bound. We will surely learn much-and together. We already are.

The blog sites have been open for a couple of weeks now and folks are gathering supplies and asking questions. People are sharing their knowledge. There is still time to board the indigo-bound train, set to leave the station on Monday. A two week gap between lesson one and two will still allow for materials gathering and the set up of a vat. I won’t add anyone in after Sunday as I will need to focus on the class itself as opposed to adding more folks into the class.

jump on board!

getting ready…

Yesterday the cold wind was howling through the outdoor studio and I worried what the weather might bring this weekend when Richard and I hold our joint workshop. But then I woke this morning to bright blue sun filled skies and no wind. Still, one never knows. We will be prepared for plan B and even plan C should it be needed.


Also, getting ready for the upcoming online indigo workshop. It always is a lot of work setting things up. Even though I have done this several times before there are always fresh challenges. Updated programs, a *new* used computer and new ideas to try out. So I have been working on it. I hope to have the new online workshop site up and running by tomorrow so those of you who are signed up can begin collecting your materials and deciding what type of indigo vat you would like to begin with. As always, an online class runs on YOUR schedule so you can never be late for class!

We will be talking about many things, one of which is sourcing materials. I found this today and really like it! You can read more about her project-Researching Sustainability here.

Considering the core of beauty

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.)

today,

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.

a reminder:

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.

the age old question- “what if?”

a comment on a recent post reminded me of this story:

“According to legend, silk was discovered in 2640 BCE by Empress Leizu. One day, the Leizu was drinking tea under a mulberry tree and a silkworm cocoon fell into her cup. The cocoon became loose and the fiber could be unwound: by twisting together fibers from several cocoons, she made a thread strong enough to be woven into cloth. Silk making (sericulture) is even older than the legend suggests. Archeologists have found ancient cloth and even a 6000-7000 year old cup decorated with pictures of silkworms.”

basically, however it came to be, sericulture surely was a result of someone asking “what if?”. a unique moment when things all lined up and a person wondered…

(a brief excerpt from View from the Dyepot, available here.)
meanwhile, the Silk Study Tour to Japan is picking up steam…get on board while there are still spaces! it’s exciting to see the wide variety of folks coming along.

shibori, silkworms, and other travelers

some days, i find myself feeling a little like this guy- needing to get away from it all. i suppose a respite from the maddening munching crowd was a welcome relief for him- they are getting big enough you can actually hear them eating!

they are just endlessly fascinating! between caretaking them, foraging for local mulberry, dyeing, ironing silk, and a hundred other tasks (class proposals for Cincinatti 2011) orders, and getting things together for the Long Beach show, i decided to close the etsy and big cartel shops for a few weeks. i need fewer distractions in order to get some work together to fill the booth otherwise it feels as if i am a pup chasing its tail! so look for them to open in a few weeks- let you know on that account.

even though i am in Jude’s class i haven’t had time to enjoy it except as an observer of all the wonderful and creative thinking going on over there. that alone is worth the cost of admission. such lovely work and words- nice to see some of my indigo put to use in so many ways. Her next class is here.

we had some travelers stop by the other day. family from Iceland dropped in and we got the boys together as well before one takes off on another band tour. we ate, visited, and of course, had a little time for blue.


the family

some solid blue to go with the moon she made…

AND….the info is out for the 2011 Silk Study Tour to Japan. If you would like to consider going, let me know and I will send you the newsletter via constant contact. I will put a tab up here on the blog soon but have a few other deadlines going today…

now, must go serve the not so tiny masters…

restructuring

this month has seen the start of many changes here, not only the beginning of spring here in southern california but in the structure of how i will be presenting both my work and teaching going forward.
first off, i will say that i am making the move from etsy to big cartel. it will take me a bit of time to complete and i will let the etsy shop rest there indefinitely (until i decide otherwise) to allow my regular customers time to get used to the change, slowly. for now, i have opened up my big cartel shop taking jude’s lead with the lunar cycle and offering a selection of indigo moons and some indigo scrap collections.

i call these collections “something boro’d, something blue” . these are fabrics gifted/traded to me from various places- they’ve all had previous lives. i’ve just borrowed them, turned them blue with indigo and created small collections for you to use in your “boro’d” projects. you can read the full description on my shop site. of course there are moons, not too many yet-as they take some time- but by the new moon there will be more. and bookmarks too, a few.
something i made using some of these scraps- a little lavendar filled pincushion-

more indigo fun-

indigo drying

my online class is taking up much of my time this month-from in writing and photographing the lessons, manning the very active forum to the enhanced features i added as an experiment- video chat office hours and videos that complement the lessons. all a lot of work and since i am on the learning curve with some of this ….phew! the students in the class have been very enthusiastic and eager- making it a very enjoyable experience. my goal is to give them some new techniques to incorporate in their own work and to make shibori dyeing less mysterious and more accessible. it still is something that takes an incredible amount of practice to perfect (i’m still on that road myself) and i like that the students understand this.
my personal victory in this class is that i have a 14 year old young man taking the class who has big aspirations in fiber and textiles- he chose “shiboriking” as his screen name in the forums! i couldn’t be happier. he has taken to skype chatting with me like you would expect any one of the younger gen to – they are so very open to technology and its uses. i have plans for restructuring all of this down the road.
it takes time.