Tag Archives: shibori workshop

Here…

So much lately, I feel at a loss for words when approaching the blog. My inner self is exploring why. I continue in the studio, trying to find my way yet feeling a bit lost. But I am Here.

But this IS the way, the path, and I am looking to find it again. Everything up to this point has been a vehicle that brought me to this place. It’s always that unsettled and uncomfortable place that leads me on, leads me forward…to Here. I am not a stranger to this feeling. When one is self employed (for over 40 years now!) one recognizes this feeling. Part of it is the unknowing of what comes next, or how to continue. But we do continue.

I’m actually feeling sick to my stomach this morning, a state of anxiety overwhelms. Who are these politicians who cravenly use their donors dollars for personal gain while demeaning others and darkening lives? Do they vote for the greater good, or for their own monied interests?  I’d like to just walk away from it all but feel the pull to do SOMETHING. So I do a little, locally. That’s where I live. Here.

I’m hoping that when I get this post finally done, I will feel a little better. I have started so many posts over the last couple of months only to walk away from them unfinished, later returning to find myself unable to complete my thoughts.  But that’s where I am…right Here.

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This past weekend found me at the Japanese American National Museum, leading the shibori and indigo workshop. As always, it is such a warm and inviting environment with great people creatively working together, sharing, caring, and telling stories. I am so fortunate to have many continuing students always mixing in with new comers. For two days we learn and teach each other. We even started a Sunday morning “Breakfast Club” meeting prior to the start of day two of the workshop. (Great idea prompted by Komo-one of the museums biggest advocates who drives from San Jose for the workshops and brings mochi from Kogetsu-do!). I love when Keiko comes with her enthusiasm for shibori and the stories of her many family members who were interred in the  concentration camps during the war-I learn so much from these women! Then there’s Cheryl, who is signed up for her second adventure on the Silk Study Tour to Japan and takes advantage of the trip to visit relatives there that she had not seen for many years and who are growing older all the time. I could go on and on but suffice to say, when I hear two of the newcomers tell me at the end of the workshop “this weekend has been the most fun I’ve had in years!”, my work is done and I go home fulfilled.  So thank you all!  Here are a few photos…

The new exhibit at the JANM is Kaiju vs. Heroes-a wonderful collection of Japanese toys from Mark Nagata who had an equally wonderful story to tell about his collection and how it inspired his life as an artist and illustrator.

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I have one more workshop to give before the end of the month- I may have mentioned it before, I can’t remember. It was full but Beth Marx, who organized it just emailed me that there was one cancellation- so if you are interested you can email her Here. I am filling in for the other instructor who wasn’t able to make it.

So now I prepare for my classes and booth at the Houston International Quilt Festival. I’m hoping to be ready enough. Sometimes, enough just has to be ok.

And, the pomegranates are ready! It’s fall. Or as we call it Here, our endless summer.

for eating and dyeing

summertime, and…

I’m redoing my indigo fermentation vat this weekend.  It’s been a while in coming.  I emptied it out (25-30 gallons) about 2 months ago when I was redoing a fence line that it sat along and it needed to be moved.  At  the time I was also having some issues with fruit fly larva in the vat and wanted to have a fresh start and see if I could solve that issue.

The vat will take at least a week to ferment to a usable state and in addition I need to receive an order of ground indigo from Cheryl at Aurora Silks.  Coincidentally, she is having a sale on the 1 Kilo size ground natural indigo and offers free shipping.  I only had 4 oz on hand so made the vat up with that to get it started and will add the rest of the indigo when it arrives in a couple of days.

I am adding a fine mesh cover to the top of the vat since the lid to this container is not a complete seal.  Additionally, I am making a large net bag to drop into the vat while dyeing to keep all the organic materials and sludge to the bottom and away from the cloth as I work.  It’s really only an issue when working with larger open weave fabrics which I seem to use a lot these days.  It saves having to pick out the particles by hand or resort to lots of water wasting rinsing.  Water is precious here.

When I disposed of the old vat I balanced the ph with some citric acid down to about 7 and used the liquid on the ornamental drought tolerant landscaping.  The rest of the sludge in the bottom I added to the compost and was ready to start again. This vat had been in use for 4-5 years.

I am adding some video of the process of this new vat to the student forum for the online indigo workshop I have in my shop.   Here is a little bit of day two progress…

August 6-7 is the final summer indigo workshop at the Japanese American National Museum. Signups are through the museum here.
Last time this is some of what participants did…
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And likely,since Jude had been busy with moons, folks have been ordering the moon assortments which has kept me and my studio helper hard at work…
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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

I get letters…

It was a great weekend at the Japanese American National Museum.  There were several returning students but the majority were new to both dyeing and to shibori in general. It is always a pleasure to introduce people to both.  Most indicated they will sign up again for one of the upcoming shibori workshops featuring indigo in June  and August (contact museum for reservations).  The force is strong in shibori…

Participants were fortunate to be able to see the last day of the exhibit “Two Views” featuring photographs by renowned 20th-century photographers Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank who each captured distinctive views of the Japanese American and Japanese Canadian incarcerations. I had seen it previously and encouraged everyone to take a break and go through the exhibit.

Early on Sunday I had the opportunity to view the other exhibit “Making Waves” before the museum opened to the public. It was really too much to take in in the amount of time I had- I spent a scant 30 minutes and knew I couldn’t do it justice so will go back before it closes the end of June.

In other news, I am feeling much better! The garden is blooming, vegetables growing. I also had a chance to see the current exhibit at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego recently.  (Thanks to Nadja for the hospitality!) One thing I was curious about was the attribution of this piece on display.

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Obviously shibori dyed but yet annotated as printed.  Unless I am missing something…  I could see the needle marks. Anyway…there were some fabulous pieces there, like this detail from a fisherman’s raincoat woven with reed and seaweed.
woven reed and seaweed

I came home from the weekend to find a lovely letter from a customer. Honestly, I have to say this sort of thing keeps me going at times. I know that making things by hand is an incredibly personal and worthwhile endeavor. Sometimes a journey of the soul. Please teach any children in your realm this valuable gift.
i get lettersnow I’m crying…xo

Remember Before?

don't worry- the copyright watermark is embedded in the metadata -from the indigo mandala workshop with Richard Carbin and Glennis Dolce

don’t worry- the copyright watermark is embedded in the metadata
-from the indigo mandala workshop with Richard Carbin and Glennis Dolce

Before is now a new category.

Remember Before? When people and institutions had integrity, when parents taught their children well, and children listened and remembered? Remember a time of due diligence and responsibility? It is getting harder to remember this time.  It seems a far-away land, a place of fairy tales and make believe. Are we able to return to the Time of Before? How did we come to this place?

Money.

Ahh…that’s it.  It happened when Money became King and Everything became Free, that’s when we arrived here.  Not Free(r) mind you.  Just Free for the Taking.  Free as long as you aren’t caught.

There is a situation brewing. Before things get ugly, Time will be allowed for the Right Thing to Happen.

Comments here are turned off for now. Now is not the time for conversation. It is the Time for Action!

more on the spirit of a thing…

Today and yesterday was a combination of things.  Saturday and Sunday is the Shibori Fusion  workshop at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.  There might be a spot of two left but you will have to check with them. Sign ups are through the museum.  So that means a lot of preparation this week.

We are focusing on using silk and color (as opposed to the indigo workshops I often teach there).  I could have just ordered silk and been done with it, but I see these workshops as an opportunity for teaching more than just shibori dyeing.   So in that spirit, the last couple of days have been busy taking apart old silk kimono and nagajuban.

silk

These are some in progress of dismantling. Such careful stitching, some even sewn with twisted silk thread. Handsewn french seams…the drape of the silk…the sheerness of the lining silks.  Each one yields 12-13 meters and if lined twice that of two different silks. a few stains here and there but nothing that will be noticed after dyeing. In any case these will be pieces that will be practiced on and hopefully used in a future project.   So a day spent with these pieces pulling threads, ironing and organizing- all the time thinking about how we will be dyeing them.  No need for new fabrics when these ones already exist.  I hope to build an appreciation in the participants for these fabrics.  After sorting, cutting, ironing and bundling-they really are lovely!

kimono silk bundles ready for eager dyers!

kimono silk bundles ready for eager dyers!

Most of these are from interior kimono and nagajuban so are off white or very pale in color-easily over-dyed. They are also very soft as they were to be worn close to the skin as opposed to the outer kimono layers.  They have their own spirit from previous owners and the spirit of each dyer will add their own imprint to the cloth.

Other things going on here include the shipping of lots of orders. I put out a lot of silk shibori ribbon scrap bags this week to clear out the scrap box.  Thanks to all who ordered the scrap samples to play and create with- Buddy overseas all the final inspection of orders here:

I closed the etsy shop until next week- need a little break from that to concentrate on the workshop and wholesale orders for a bit – look for it to reopen in a week…or so. I have some fun little ideas I also want to play with and need a little mental space in which to do it.  I hope I can find some!

In addition, I finally heard back from the city on their approval of my re-landscaping plan which conforms to their Lawn to Garden water saving plan.  So I went to Home Depot to buy some heavy black plastic which I will lay down and cover with free mulch from the city yard to kill off the lawn- or what is left of it.  It will take at least a month to kill off this way but worth it. Apparently, most everyone else will be doing it another way and Home Depot has stocked up to take advantage:

Apparently we never learn…

I know I promised an introduction to Squirrelly Gurl for those who haven’t yet met her but this got in the way first.  Next time-for sure.

 

new work and nightmares…

i had a dream…

i’m at houston and starting my indigo workshop only to realize i had forgotten the indigo. i woke up and realized that it had only been a dream (thankfully!!).  i fell back asleep and had another dream. this time i opened up my freezer and found it full of water (i should mention that this is where i store the indigo). i just got up and made coffee at that point.

this is how i get before a show.  a little crazy.

the other day i spent some time cleaning cocoons for the mawata class.  i am pre-cleaning them for the class (removing the pupae)-seems the practical thing to do considering the class is full and the time restrictions. we will demonstrate the process but will concentrate on making the mawata and even spinning a bit of silk yarn and needle felting some.  made a few mawata too-practicing.

not bad.

i was a little bummed out last week when i had to cut my Quilt  Festival booth back from the full booth i had ordered to a half booth due to finances-but we do what we have to and i’ll make it work.  so if you can’t find me at the booth printed in the directory-which i think was already printed, look for me in booth 1329, my new booth #. or, just look for silky shibori goodness and indigo.

that is all, over and out!

p.s. when you write a post in WP these days it shows you a list of recommended tags (which i rarely use as they don’t really pertain).  one of the recommended tags for this post is “post traumatic stress”. ha! just thought that was funny.  carry on.

Shibori Workshop in Chicago

I will be teaching a shibori workshop at the upcoming Chicago Quilt Festival April 17, 9Am-12 Noon.
Details can be found here. I understand there are 10 spaces left (of 25) so if you think you might wait ’til you get there to sign up you might be disappointed. I also read in the business section today that Southwest Airlines has started a “fare war” so you might be able to get some tickets at a pretty good price. I picked up my ticket about a month ago on Delta for $180 RT right out of Long Beach!

I am now preparing for the show, packing materials for the workshop, making inventory for my booth. I will get the booth # posted soon- still have to order my electricity and so forth. This is the first time I have done the Chicago show and with all the costs involved I opted for the first time to get a 1/2 booth. We’ll see how that works out. I may regret it but will make the most of it. I’ll be featuring the ribbon and kits at this show with less focus on the scarves and wall pieces. I’m sharing a room (I think!) with someone although with whom I can’t seem to remember at the moment (mental note- call Maggie and ask!).

One new thing we will be doing is dyeing some ribbon using shibori techniques that don’t result in pleated ribbon (that has to be heat set) but do give some interesting yet fairly quick results. Here’s an example of what I am talking about:
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or this:
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This would make a lovely silk binding on a quilt.

I am planning some great fun for the workshop. We are going to do a little bit of everything-makiage, arashi, itajime, and some of what I like to call invented shibori. I’m a little limited as to what I can afford to haul out to Chicago in the way of materials as shipping costs prevent the shipping of large poles etc., but being the inventive sort I have a few other ideas. This being a quilt show, I will focus on things I think quilters are interested in creating for insertion into quilts.

Speaking of quilts, the journey quilt is coming along- or was at least. Until I decided I didn’t like the thread I was using for the shibori ribbon binding. So now I have to tear it all out and redo it with some silk thread. This is further complicated by the unfortunate fact that I managed to give myself some rather nice burns from steaming on the back of my right hand. The blistering has subsided and now I am just being careful to keep it clean and protected but it is definitely hampering progress a bit. CAUTION: Slow down!! Use the silicone glove that was sitting right there!! Sometimes I need a reminder, apparently.

I have a deadline coming up for an article and samples to be sent for an upcoming magazine issue (no details just yet!) and sent samples to a writer of a new book coming out about ribbon- supposed to be the latest “complete guide to ribbon”. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without shibori ribbon now would it?
I just acquired some silk shantung wired ribbon which I will be dyeing today for the upcoming workshop with Candace Kling. We’ll have to see how that goes- not sure how well it will dye.

Also making more plans for Japan. Found a great little ryokan in Nagoya and made a reservation. We’ll also be attending the Tokyo Hobby Show as guests of one of the exhibitors. That is sure to be an education! I am trying to figure out how to fit in an overnight trip to Mashiko to see the Higeta Indigo workshop. Thankfully, the Shinkansen may make this possible.
The Silk Study Tour will make a stop at the Nippon Silk Center in Gunma Prefecture where we will have the opportunity to participate in a day long workshop on natural dyeing with silk, katazome techniques, and kumihimo. WOW! Wonder if my head will explode on that day. On another day we will participate in an all day workshop with Japanese quilter Noriko Endo.

And lest you think I have to do everything by myself around here, Milo is always nearby ready to help and a real photography buff to boot. Here he is helping to arrange the silk for the shoot by getting completely underneath the pop-up white box I was using and lifting the whole thing up as I was shooting the pics.
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Quilt Festival Houston

I just got the update on my Festival workshop- Exploring Stitch Resisted Shibori. There are only 4 spots left. So if you think you want to be there you really need to sign up now! The class is capped at 25 and will no doubt close within a week. There will be no sign ups at the show. Here are the details:

Friday Oct. 31 9am-12 noon
Class Fee-$35
Materials Fee-$22

I entitled my workshop Exploring Stitch Resisted Shibori because in the 3 hours we will have together we will only really be able to touch the surface of this technique and its many, many permutations. My desire is to fill you with ideas and inspiration combined with hands on trial and error so you can get a feel for all the marvelous possibilities this technique has to offer. I am not one for sending you away with lots of handouts and step by step instructions . There are already countless books and online resources for that by folk much more studied in the history and documentation of traditional shibori techniques. I have read all the books. I will have my favorites available for you to browse through. You will not leave wearing your new creation (i don’t think!). I am interested in showing you what can be done with these techniques in the context of your own work and how to adapt and combine these techniques for exploring new possibilities. We will work quickly, making many many small study pieces that can later be combined into collaged work or put into a reference notebook as you go on to do larger works later on. We will work with various types and weights of silk fabric. Although we will be working with silk all of the techniques can be transferred to other fabrics and their appropriate dyesets.

You are welcome to bring your own stitching tools- needle, seam ripper, scissors, etc. but I will have everything you need on hand. You will need to bring your glasses if you wear them!!
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to work with someone who forgot their glasses and can’t see the work. It’s one thing I can’t really help you with! (although I am known to bring an extra pair of reading glasses or let you borrow mine….)
My workshop is only one in the series of workshops presented by the Silk Experience- run by Maggie Backman-(look here for other workshops in the series). Maggie is the gal behind Colorhue Dye (also Silk Things/Things Japanese) and is just a wealth of information on many things related to silk. In the workshops at Houston we all use the Colorhue Dyes as they are very appropriate for the classroom setting we have available to us
there.
I will also be teaching this class at the Chicago 2009 Festival.

mata-ne!