A Day in the Life
Handmade Textiles, Design and Daily Inspiration
Last Sunday, I hosted our first Summer Workshop in a series and it was a lot of fun! Our small group of participants created a collection of beautiful and original textiles for their homes. I provided 2 tea towels and guests brought in additional items to dye.
The 3 hour workshop began with a short lesson on Shibori folding techniques and culminated in a creative burst of energy!
Lucky for us, the creative Sunday afternoon was memorable and inspiring. Read on below to see the event pics, learn more about the process and all the stunning results!
Before the workshop guests arrived, I had set up 4 workshop stations with an empty dye vat, Indigo dye kit, stir and wooden dowel for each pair of artists. The set up for 2 people worked out nicely, because while one person was folding, the other could be binding or dyeing the fabric. I decided on low open 3.5 gallon dye vats and 1 kit per every 2 artists. Each kit can be used for about 10-15 items depending on their size.
We prepared the indigo dye bath using warm water and combining the Indigo dye kit ingredients which included the soda ash, reduction agent, and indigo pigment. As they mix, the surface gurgles up in reaction. After stirring the dye bath in both directions, clockwise and counter-clockwise, we cover the dye bath to let it set-up. It takes about 20 minutes to set and will have a film called "flower" on the top when it is ready.
Next, came the folding. Everyone spread out to work on the folds, which really did take up the most space.
We went over 4 basic techniques and practiced them. There are many ways to fold and tie in Shibori, so I decided to narrow it down to 4 folds that create distinct patterns: rings, grids, lines, and shapes.
Below, Chris begins to fold his tea towel back and forth using an accordion pattern which creates a grid.
Arleen's accordion fold is almost complete! Accordion folds can even be done diagonally.
Jenn works using an Arashi technique, meaning storm, by wrapping her pillowcase around the wooden dowel. Later, she secures it with twine. The twine will create wavy directional lines that resist the dye.
Below, are Flin's linen pants around a dowel also wrapped using the same technique and twine.
Flin and Sophia pre-soak their bound fabrics and ring out excess water prior to dyeing.
There are several fascinating moments during the process from manipulating the textiles while they are in the dye bath to watching the oxidization process. They textiles turn from a yellowy green to a deep blue as they hit the air.
Each artist dipped their fabrics 2-3 times to achieve deep, bright indigo blue. Chris' work turned out very cool! A combination of circles and lines. He used round wooden beads bound inside the cloth to form the rings or Kumo, meaning spiderweb effect. I love the way the circles repeat.
Amber and Jenn created some stunning linear designs by applying accordion folds and securing with rubber bands.
Deanne created beautiful pillow cover using triangle folds in Itajime technique, meaning shape resist.
High fives! Everyone did amazing! We hung the collection of tea towels and pillowcases outside to dry, while other pieces were being rinsed out completely.
For those of you who want to try this out at home, next Monday, I will share 3 simple Shibori techniques: Itajime, Kumo, and Arashi that we used to create these patterns, along with a full list of supplies that I also recommend.
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Photography: All photos by Amelia Tabullo photography /@mozat81 Instagram, except where noted.
Hi, I'm Hilary.
A Day in the Life, is where all the creativity happens! I'm an artist, designer, and writer. This is where I share ideas about art and design currently evolving from my design studio. I hope to connect with enthusiasts from all over the world. I hope you will share feedback, ideas and even attend a workshop with me someday!
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