Saturday, 14 March 2015

More shibori

So, another session at Studio 11 in my regular monthly workshop, rather than the one off lamination of last weekend. My goal this year has been to explore shibori in more depth - in fact I think I could explore it for the next ten years and not lose interest! I prepared four pieces for the dyepot this time. The three here are fabrics that I dyed in my first year with Christine now due for another layer of colour. These three were all folded first then stitched with either leaf patterns or a series of wavy lines, as shown below. 

The fourth piece was some linen that I bought at Potters Farm Studio during the Michel Garcia workshop last year. I stitched it with a variety of shibori stitched resists, loosely based on a minimal drawing of the moon over the Downs. I divided the space into rough areas of sky, sea and layers of Downs, marking the lines from the original with a disappearing quilting pen. Here it is pre pulling up of the threads. 

Stitching done, I pulled all the threads as tight as possible to gather the material up for the next stage. I used some shibori thread, bought recently from Jane Callender's website - check out her galleries for some awesome shibori pieces. It runs very smoothly through the fabric, but really has a mind of it's own when it comes to tying off the pulled up stitches - all those little threads had to be dealt with. Christine's tip, which I'll try next time, was to take a couple of back stitches rather than tying off.

Next the fabrics were put into three small tubs of dye - great practice in assessing the amount of dye powder to use - I did, of course, take notes! The "leaves" went into a mixture of scarlet, golden yellow and deep brown - I was hoping for an autumnal effect; the waves went into turquoise with a touch of petrol green; the plain white into a mix of indigo with a touch of electric blue and a pinch of acid yellow. not terribly precise but I wasn't trying for precision really, just testing out the colours with an overall amount of powder in mind. And the results?

Here they are.

The leaf patterns have lost some definition, though the maple leaf shape comes through quite well. I suspect they would be clearer had I been stitching through one layer of cloth rather than three, but I'm still happy with them. The wavy lines I love, especially the way that the folds create some symmetry, while the crinkles make each bit individual, and the moon over the Downs?

I lost Orion in the sky because some of the ties came off as I was moving the cloth around in the pot, so he only has shoulders, no hips. The moon has come out well, though I think had I run the stitching vertically I'd have had more of an impression of wisps of horizontal cloud drifting across. There is a vague sense of a landscape with the sea in the background, but I lost the definition in some of the middle foreground as I suspect the knots just slipped out and the fabric relaxed. However, that is all fine as I am just learning, learning, learning and that is one of the things that life is for.


  1. You've got some lovely subtle results Kat.

    1. thank you Gina - learning, learning all the time :-)