dragonflies 屯簿

The making of this shibori ribbon dragonfly came as a result of a dream I had. The dream involved a family member who transformed into a dragonfly and came to tell me of his future plans. Over the next several days, dragonflies kept appearing in various forms- to the point that I had to notice. Sitting down working on some ribbon flowers it occurred to me to make a butterfly, then of course, the dragonfly. Since then, dragonflies have continued to appear in some very interesting ways. One particular event still has me wondering. I’m not trying to understand it all, I’m just paying attention.

Wondering what dragonfly lore existed, I did a little googling. I found lots of references and among them stories and beliefs that the dragonfly represents an agent of change, of wisdom and enlightenment. I also read of how the iridescent wings of a dragonfly- which allow it to be seen in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on them-are symbolic of casting off one’s self illusions and unmasking the real self (whom of us couldn’t use a little of that?). In other words, it’s a flight of real self-discovery. Also the dragonfly’s relationship to water interests me.

Recently while I was away surrounded by nature, a nearby lake, and many, many dragonflies- I made some more and perfected my methods. I even wrote up some instructions and photographed the steps.
So today, I have 3 new items in the shop:

~several handmade dragonfly pins in a variety of colors ($24 ea and includes the instruction download as a gift)

~a kit for you to make your own ($12 includes the instructions as a downloadable PDF)

~or just the instructions as a downloadable PDF for those of your who have your own supplies ($5)

They are fun, fairly simple and once you make one, I bet you’ll make another…

and now i’m wondering what one would look like in indigo…

Shibori- Color and Texture on Silk by Karren Brito

It appears that Karren Brito’s book is out of print at the moment and a search around online shows some pretty crazy prices for obtaining a copy (up to over $200 ea. in some cases!) Her blog indicates that they are working on an electronic version but if you are like me you want a book you can drag around in the studio. There are still a few places online that haven’t jacked up the prices and seem to be taking orders for them.

If you are interested, the Eugene Textile Center has some in their online shop…

get one before they become a “collectors” item and you can’t afford one.

indigo

while i can appreciate the unplanned or willy nilly aspects of many hand dyed fabrics, i have myself a desire to go beyond the happenstance. i like to set intention before making and work towards it. i like when people wonder…now how did she do that? then i feel the work succeeded on some level. often in the experimental stages i need to “just see what happens” when i try out some new idea or technique but after the initial plunge i try to refine, perfect, and replicate the things i consider successful. i’m sure part of this comes from the fact that i have made a living making now for (dare i say it?) 35 years. making for a living often requires making more than one of something and while each handmade item is unique in some way there is a usually a condition of mass making on some level that allows for the endeavor to become self supportive. i bring this up in reference to the above indigo on silk piece as it is a technique i created with indigo that is unique to me (as far as i know). my vat recently seemed in the mood to do some more of these pieces and while seeming rather unplanned and willy nilly, it really isn’t. some things i don’t have the desire to teach for various reasons and this is one of them. but i do love the results… i think i will pleat the ends only. i can’t bring myself to completely bury the mesmerizing pattern of the indigo in the pleats-but some will give it some shape. we will see…

silk shibori ribbon rolls


in between the wild colors of silk ribbon i’ve been dyeing and working on, i’ve managed to get some indigo into the mix. the 3 vats taunt me as i walk past them several times a day and the deep green of their reduction as i stir and adjust them each day really tempts me even when there are so many other things i *should* be and am doing. when i am dyeing, steaming and wrapping silk i usually manage to take some time to dye some yardage and that is what i did this past week. i’ve broken it up into prepacks like this and listed them in the shop:

it always amazes me how much time goes into dyeing with indigo to create the different shades. here i have been experimenting with several vats: my basic vat started over 3 years ago using natural indigo in a chemical reduction and added to as needed, and two newer vats both using indigo from aurora silk- the sky blue indigo and a super fine cosmetic grade indigo. at first, i wasn’t really noticing the difference with the sky blue indigo but with further practice i’m getting to know it better and see some differences in the colors i can obtain on different fabrics. the fine cosmetic grade seems to be able to produce some unique shadings along with some very dark darks. as usual, there is always some mystery to the results…

next to hit the shop will be some indigo moons, some dragonfly pins and kits to make your own…soon.

a little lost..

maybe this guy will help me find my way-

shibori indigo dragonfly

silk shibori ribbon dragnflies


~or maybe even these…

making

the feeling a little lost comes from losing my HD recently. even though i had most VID backed up, i did manage to lose quite a bit of stuff. nice.

a trip to the mountains (thanks vic & yvonne!) to clear my head however has resulted in some good work and i’m now back home working- still struggling though with setting everything back up the way i need it to make screen time efficient. please bear with me…

bear claw tree

upcoming events include the following at the moment:

~Art Unraveled
an all day workshop (monday the 8th) covering for Lorri Scott who is recovering from retinal surgery (rest up Lorri!!)
i will also vend on saturday the 6th
ASG (American Sewing Guild) Conference in Los Angeles Aug 18-22
JANM (Japanese American National Museum) Shibori Workshop Sept 17 call them to register. (their sept. calendar isn’t posted yet but will be soon i’m told)

what more can i say? (backup backup backup…oh…and backup your backup. also, organize your photo backups…that way you won’t have to sort through 10,000 photos, find what you need and want, and decide what you want to load back)

also, there are some good tools out there to download all your flickr pics…at once.
it’s for the mac. and you get to feed the kitties.
nice!

shop update and sea anemone

this post title seems a little odd i know but i must get the word back out that i am adding new items to the bigcartel shop and i have re-opened the etsy shop.

first some pretty pictures before i get to the messy business of words…

sea flowers


sea anemones tend to stay in the same spot until conditions become unsuitable, whereupon they can detach themselves and swim away to a new location… something to think about.

then there are also new silk flowers…

summer blooms in silk shibori

in addition to spending quite a bit of time this week with a needle in hand sewing with invisible thread, i’ve spent some time dyeing new shibori ribbon and will have some new ribbon combo packs in the shop tomorrow. just need to finish the photos and get them posted up. but here is a preview of one new color-hot tropics…things are heating up around here- and elsewhere too, i hear.

but when i feel the need to cool down, the indigo vat is always waiting. cool cool blue. at the moment i have 3 vats going which i am stirring every evening and taking note of the daily ph. one of the vats is made with cheryl kollander’s sky blue indigo which i wanted to try. it does make a nice blue but honestly i have been doing test swatches with all three vats and don’t notice too much difference. maybe it’s just me. i have a lot to learn. she is having a professional level natural dye workshop in july and although i can’t make this work out for me, maybe you can. she has a lot of experience to share. i buy all my indigo from her- it makes sense to me to buy it from someone who uses her own product on a regular basis. even if it costs a little more-which i’m not even sure it actually does.

i’ll be adding some more blue to the shop in coming days, but for now- i have added aiko there. she is ready to wander off into the world and i hope that wherever she lands we will see a glimpse of her future travels. another aiko is in the making too…

aiko has a moment by the pond as she wonders about the future