Tag Archives: spiritcloth

wondering in white

White.  Is it a color? If black is the absence of color (darkness) then is white (light)  the combination of all colors in the visible spectrum? As a dyer, this is interesting to me.  White is often my canvas when dyeing and dyeing something black takes a whole lot of colors mixed together.  Strange.

As a dyer with an eye towards using what is around and available I have collected lots of old cloth that can be dyed. But are they white?  Many are what I would call a natural white. They are what they are-ivory, cream, white, eggshell,off-white, antique white, snow white, pearl white, bleached white etc…

detail white

Many of you who have taken indigo classes from me recently have received materials kits containing a whole variety of great old fabrics-all natural and of course dyeable in indigo. It’s informative to look at the structure of old fabrics. This cloth that was formally the fabric of people’s  lives. Literally- laces, tablecloths, clothing, bed coverings, kitchen towels, even mosquito netting and more. Each type of cloth reveals more about itself when dyed in the vat-it’s thickness, weave, age, and even stains that dye differently from the whole cloth.  Next to each other, they can form an amazing array of beautiful blues or whites.

But what if they were left as they are?  Left to use in other ways, to stitch together new dreams and aspirations? That is what I see going on in Jude’s new class What If Diaries. Definitely not a craftsy class where everything is laid out for you to make or do according to the plan, but a way to explore much deeper. The class is now sold out but she has others of a similar nature to explore. I like that the cloth is explored more deeply- that students not only connect themselves to the fabrics, the stitches, but that there is always a stream of consciousness floating in the background as a jumping off point to some new or even old idea. It’s kind of like what I imagine the beginning of the universe to be-  sort of like a primordial soup of creation.

battenburgold battenburg lace- in process

And speaking of creation- last weekend at the JANM (Japanese American National Museum) we had a really grand time. I took a whole silk display and we even reeled silk on the old zakuri. The students were in awe as most had never seen this before. The ingeniousness of the device AND that of the silkworm and it’s cocoon. I don’t think they’ll ever take silk for granted again!

reeling silkstudent reeling silk on the old zakuri

And of course we dyed silk- new and old. Itajime was the focus and this was a quick pic of their first pieces of the day.  After this, I got too busy to take photos-as usual. Many left class and went straight out to the front desk to sign up for the Aug 31-Sept 1 class.  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

12:00 PM—4:30 PM

Indigo and Shibori Techniques with Shibori Girl

events/shibori2.jpegIn this 2-day workshop we will focus our intentions on practicing itajime (fold and clamp) shibori on recycled kimono lining silks. Once considered as precious as gold, old silks are being discarded at an alarming rate! Let’s breathe new life into them and improve our understanding of both silk and itajime shibori. Indigo and colorhue dyes will be used in this workshop. Both days: $70 members; $90 non-members, an additional $45 materials fee (cash only) will be collected at the beginning of class, admission is included. RSVP early, 20 students max.
So, if you are in the mood for some cloth that really moves you-cloth containing texture as a main component, fragments like scattered thoughts across time and place, imperfection seen as perfection, then click on over to the shop and see what’s old.
And if you think you want to join the JANM workshop in Aug. you might want to sign up early.

 

a perfect storm & a little sayonara sale…

Even though I have a million things to do, I have to write this post! This morning I came across this video on youtube that answered a couple of my questions regarding processing my indigo- at least one approach.  And there is a good explanation of three sorts of indigo producing plants, how they differ and how to grow them.  It ends with a demo of processing the plant and collecting the indigo:

growing and processing indigo

Then, a lightbulb went off in my head…why was I putting the silkworm castings in the vegetable garden when I could oh so easily put them in the indigo patch where they would up the nitrogen level thereby producing more blue naturally?

A  perfect indigo silk circle.

Yesterday there was some fun interaction on the FB studio page regarding frass where I came to discover May Berenbaum…I’d love to meet her someday.  Here, she writes about frass. and here is an interesting podcast interview she did with scientific american.

frass

And for a little Sayonara Sale…typically in Japan, when one moves, one has a sayonara sale. That’s just the way they do it there. Also, a sayonara sale is a great place to pick up stuff you need when furnishing a new apartment. Check out the sayonara sale ads in the Tokyo craigslist. Garage sale- Japanese style.

Well I’m not moving in the classical sense but I thought it would be fun to have a sayonara sale prior to leaving to Japan. And besides, who couldn’t use a little extra yen on a 10 day trip to Japan? Not to mention keeping the bills paid up while I’m gone. Count me in-and maybe you too if you have been thinking about buying some scrumptious silk shibori ribbon. Here’s what I have to offer:

-packs of 6 one yard cuts of six different colors of pleated silk shibori ribbon. Dyer’s choice as far as the colors go but what color wouldn’t you want? Sayonara sale through Friday night only with the last order to ship Saturday. 6 yards for $60- in the shop now.

~and speaking of perfect circles…jude is gathering stones.

new in blue…

very busy here in preparation and some new things in blue- just a peek of the week in review-

one very happy development is that i have finally figured out a decent way to reuse the d-core thread i wrap the arashi poles in- not liking that i have been throwing it away for the most part all this time. seemed like such a waste. so far i have used over 80,000 yards of this stuff! not that i will be able to reuse all of it but for now i will start saving it and sending it to YOU! like this:
each indigo boro fabric pack will have some to stitch with!
and maybe some of this if you are doing some weaving…
indigo kasuri thread

-new style arashi indigo silk gauze is going into the packs as well-sheer and transparent, it catches the wind of your imagination…
it matches the sky, the ocean or a river…
in detail…

and if that wasn’t enough blue this week, we have added a new pup to the mix, her one blue eye
is always watching me…it’s been a busy week!

and if you were wondering, the indigo shibori timpani mutes worked perfectly! a good performance, reportedly. next week i will see for myself- a quick trip to hear some music performed.

(and all the ribbon scrap bags are gone for now…but the boro packs and subscription videos are still available if you are in jude’s cloth to cloth class and have ordered a pack they are on the way to you within a day or so of ordering them…enjoy! i understand some great things are going on there!) and a new subscription video series is forming here…don’t think i want to miss this!

see you in houston!

dyeing from nature’s color cues


back in the spring i planted these glorious sunflowers and they have been blooming profusely next to my outdoor workspace for the past month. much to my surprise i had unintentionally placed them right where they would grow up and be viewed from the inside- out the window over my kitchen sink. i have been enjoying them so much. everyday they are right next to me as i work at the indigo vat and as i dye and steam colored silks and in the morning when i make a cup of coffee or do the dishes i see them from inside the kitchen.
i recently dyed up some silk organza for flower work and as i often do, i just let my imagination run with the moment as i poured dye over the fabric. without intention really, just letting intuition and the moment lead me on.
so i guess it was no real surprise that one of the colors ended up mimicking the colors of the flowers i see everyday. but still, somehow i was surprised.
i wonder what i will see today…
maybe it is related to what Jude is doing here.

more about listening to your own voice and less about “trends” and other such things.

feathering the nest-booth 1150

the female moths are busy laying eggs now and i am busy preparing things for my booth at the upcoming Long Beach Quilt Festival. my booth is my nest of sorts for the duration of the show and i like to see it properly feathered.

jude’s spirit will be with us as well. she is sending this and a few other things for proper feathering.

the ribbons are piling up under the full moon-

some threads will make an appearance in the indigo *department*

(cotton and silk-solids, ombres, shibori’d)

also new in the *indigo department* will be a selection of what i am calling Whole Cloth.
larger pieces of indigo fabrics including my sea and sky fabrics as well as shibori indigo.
due to the time required to make these, they are somewhat limited.
they include cottons, silks, hemp, linen, wool and other interesting fabrics.

above us only sky-left to right-sunny, partly cloudy, & June Gloom

i will be posting up more pics as i can but most of my time over the next week is devoted to nest making.