So many possibilities

13 August 2008 at 9:58 am 3 comments

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with new dyes and techniques and have a lot of really gorgeous yardage.  I can’t decide what to do with it!  I’m more and more newstuff3hesitant to sew, since the old hands aren’t  what they used to be and the old eyes can’t seem to guide them as they used to.  Should this bronze collection become a fabulous shawl or a fabulous pillow?   I bought the beautiful-lady-printed-on-silk from a supplier on eBay and now am chomping at the bit to make some of my own . . . I need a good color printer, oh Fairy Godmother of Artists Everywhere! 

The biggest piece above with the fan leaves on it, is my first stab at batik in many years.  Marcia the Sage has some incredibly gorgeous copper tjaps from Indonesia, and we played with them and soy wax the last time I went to her studio.  I’ve since added more wax and layers of color to this piece and am still waiting to see what it looks like finished.  It’s not quite there yet.

newstuff4The purple group at left was done in a variety of ways:  The two biggest pieces are done in my usual serti method with new gutta pens I special ordered from England.  I’m not quite sure I love them yet.  The little top square is another silk print I bought online.  The dark purple pieces are pieces of silk paper run through my printer.  I printed some black and whites of batik patterns from a CD-ROM I bought years ago, and then overdyed the silk in an acid dye bath. 

newstuff2This set of green/bronze/browns is my favorite, since I’m a green woman.  Another beautiful lady print on silk, a piece of shantung painted with leaves, and a strip of organza.  The organza is the result of a shibori pole-tying session.   (Sounds a little kinky, doesn’t it?)   I wrapped a piece of 5mm silk organza around a leftover piece of quarter-round, tied it with everything from garden twine to dental floss, and drizzled dyes over it.  It was too big for Great Aunt Myrtle’s roaster, so I wrapped the whole thing in black plastic and put it in my car window for a few days.  This darn Carolina weather is good for something, I guess. shibori_pole

I also tried a few pieces wrapped around polypropylene tubing (don’t use PVC pipe — it melts!).   These I steamed, since I had cut the pipes into shorter lengths.  After all this tying, my poor hands were too sore for much of anything, so I read My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen.   She’s got a great sense of language and it’s a laugh-out-loud book. 

shibori2Here’s the shibori result.  I became obsessed with learning how to keep teeny shibori folds in the fabric at this point and signed up for a Joggles class, thinking it would teach me more shibori methods.  When the class list called for yards of pre-made shibori ribbon, I realized I wasn’t going to learn my pleating information there.  (They were more than gracious in giving me a refund.)

Unfortunately, before I thought it through and dropped the class, I tore most of my organza into two- to four-inch strips.   Any ideas of what to do with them will be greatly appreciated! 

Off to the studio!


Entry filed under: All Posts, latest projects, processes in silk painting / surface design.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jean Levert Hood  |  17 August 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I am constantly amazed at what you can do with silk! What gorgeous pieces these are. From one who hyperventilates at the idea of thread and needle, I’d better leave “what to do with them” to you!!!

  • 2. altheap  |  15 August 2008 at 12:23 pm


  • 3. Joni Stinson  |  13 August 2008 at 10:21 am

    I always enjoy your blogs! You are so creative that I’m sure you will figure out just the right thing to do with your new textiles!


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