Monday, August 2, 2010

Exploring Indigo

Well how do you like my new design?  I had to have the Africa map template and the brown suits me too. 

However, blue is my favorite color and I have been exploring indigo dying over several months.  This past weekend I had opportunity to learn from master textile artist Ana Lisa Hedstrom who taught me and fellow students about the history and techniques of Shibori while using indigo and other natural dyes.  We stitched, folded, wrapped, clamped and compressed a variety of fabrics.

My personal goal is to improve my stitching technique so I can create new indigo dye/stitched works as a connection to Yoruba Adire Cloth pieces. 

In the meantime these are some samples from the class and a few pieces I made while working with members from two of  art groups.

This piece was stitched with upholstery thread that was pulled and tightened and dyed.  The big challenge is get the thread tight enough for the stitching to remain as white as possible.  I have to practice a bit more but I am determined.  I like these meandering lines of white through the blue.

Using a running stitch on folded fabric in a circular pattern was how this piece started.  The resulting cellular and very organic pattern is very interesting.  Improving my skill at pulling and tightening the threads is going to take more practice but I really like it. 

This is my first Arashi on cotton gauze.

Cotton fabric that was pleated before wrapping created this bold pattern.  More practice, better wrapping, more interesting results.  I'll be busy this coming weekend.

Twisting fabric then pulling into finger size peaks and wrapping them with pearl cotton thread created this effect.  They look like flowers to me.

I machine stitched my version of a tulip on folded fabric.  You can see the variation of dye penetration. Looks sort of like an x-ray of a flower.  This technique has lots of possibilities for my figurative work.  We'll see what happens in the weeks ahead.

Friends Madlyn Jones and Cora Lewis and I made these a few months back during one of our monthly play days.  These look like 1970's tie dye.  Of course I was crocheting then instead of dyeing and quilting.  So I'm making up for lost time.  I used rubber bands to create these circles.

This is my favorite.  I can't remember exactly what I did to create this but I'm using part of an old curtain that someone gave me as part of my vintage materials stash.  I love this piece.  It has so much movement.

As part of a  monthly Wednesday surface design group we tried using natural indigo.  As you can seethe fabric was folded and dyed.  The lightness will help create some value change for any pieced works I create.

The old weathered look of the piece is very appealing and I'm sure I'll use it in some narrative work in the future.  It has holes in a few places throughout the piece.

Now of course this is an African machine stitched fabric that I hope to emulate.  I've already used this fabric in some work and will see if I can make a copy.   Overall, I have been having fun.  It is an adventure to see what happens when you unfold, clip the stitches or unwrap the pole.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this process.  

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