A Natural Artisanal Throw Pillow Collection
Today, I am excited to share a round-up of my favorite pillows from my capsule home collection that launched this Spring! First, a little bit about how this collection came to be. As many of you know, I am a painter and I have worked styling interiors. I love to design products and I wanted to extend that love of product design and painting to pillows. Over the years, I have had many pillows made for my clients. So, designing my own collection, came naturally and unfolded on a recent trip to India and Japan.
One thing that is unique about my capsule collection is that it uses natural indigo dye. After working with natural and botanical dyes in my home studio, I sought out textiles that had been dyed using natural color. This collection is inspired by California living and being near the ocean. Reminiscent of both sea and sky. These pillows are meant to be a piece of art for your home. Energetic benefits of indigo include, a profound calming feeling of total relaxation. Also known as the deep blue color associated with the 6th chakra in the body, or the third-eye. Engaging with this plant and it's magical dye activates your awareness and inner reflection.
Indigo comes from the ancient plant, indigofera tinctoria, used for over 5000 years to dye fibers and clothing. Some of the pillowcases are hand-dyed, while others feature batik, crewel and Shibori techniques. All textiles are sourced from handmade artisans or dyed by me in my studio.
Top Row from Left
Sustainable Natural FIbers
The majority of the collection features natural cotton linen fabric, wool or silk. Our Sky Blue Lumbar pillow below is woven in wool from a regional geometric Kyoto motif. It measures 12" x 24" and was created from a unique roll of kimono width fabric, meaning that it was designed in a traditional fashion featuring a famous geometric motif.
At the moment, I am exploring natural indigo on wild peace silk in a new 18" Expansion Kumo Shibori piece. These are a beautiful color, and made from a beautiful yet pricier silk in which the silk moths are not harmed in the process. This type of challenge is what motivates and inspires me to design something that is ethically made and eco-friendly.
While, I stuck with mostly indigo blues. I couldn't resist this dhabu mud-resist batik fabric created in North India. I love the organic results of the dhabu technique along with the sandy texture and inspired me to create this Sand Batik Pillow in Spots, which is easy to mix and match within a space.
You can view the whole capsule pillow collection in my textiles shop. If you are located near the Bay area, I will be at Renegade Craft at Fort Mason, July 14th and 15th in San Francisco, I and would love to meet you in person!
Botanical Dye and Aromatherapy Workshop Recap + Field Notes
Last weekend, we hosted an awesome group of guests who discovered the power and possibility of plants working with all natural plant based dyes at our Botanical Dyeing and Aromatherapy workshop in Topanga. In this workshop, we experiment with natural dye on fiber while exploring aromatherapeutic blends. Everyone created something beautiful, and the art of botanical dyes intertwined perfectly with aromatherapy. All of the attention and energy that went into organizing the event paid off big when we saw the results on silk and smelled the beautiful aromatherapeutic blends. Be sure to scroll on down to see the marvelous results!
Today, I will share some pictures and inspiration from the day, so that you can learn more about the process, if you would like to try botanical dyeing at home. If you are considering attending a future event, then you can sign-up later in the post.
The night before all of the silks were pre-soaked with alum, a mineral mordant then left to dry.
Guests laid out irises, hibiscus, dried rose petals, and onion skins in a random and creative fashion to be used as dye, then rolled and folded their silk bundles to steam in the kitchen. We secured them with twine. Some guests even applied some shibori-like folds to their bundles. While our botanical dye bundles were steaming, we were treated to some amazing Aromatherapy with Flin K. Grant.
Intro to Shibori: Beachy Scarves In Malibu
Hey there! I have some pictures that I have been wanting to share with you. Would you like to see the results of our workshop in Malibu a weeks ago? This event is a part of my Creative Sundays workshop series, which I designed for adults to promote relaxation through creativity, introduce ancient art processes, and foster meaningful connection in a non-competitive way! Our Shibori textile night took place at 98% Angel inside of the Trancas Country Mart in Malibu. It is a hip and original children's clothing boutique, with a space for art-making in the rear of the shop. If you are ever in the area in search of one-of-kind children's clothing, I highly recommend that you visit.
When the idea came up with the boutique owner, Zoe to offer an adult workshop in Malibu, I knew this would be the perfect spot! With plenty of room and a very peaceful vibes. Our event was sold out with 10 guests arriving to learn about the ancient art-form of Shibori to create unique and stunning patterns using indigo dye. For this workshop, I prepared 2 different dye vats. We used a 123 Fructose Vat and a pre-reduced indigo vat using a basic indigo kit. Although, I prefer working with all natural vats, I have found the pre-reduced vats can be really handy for instructional purposes such as these. Next up, I plan to experiment with an iron vat.
For this project, we used 20" x 80" long cotton-jute scarves. I fell in love with this exact blend which is 70% cotton and 30% jute fiber. They come straight off the loom in India and feature a small fringe on the bottom which makes them awesome as scarves or even as beach sarongs- perfect for Malibu weather and other beach cities!
I begin the workshop with a brief history of indigo dyeing and background info on Shibori. Afterward, I demonstrate a few popular folds and provide visuals of the results. Next up, everyone gets busy folding and binding their fabrics. So busy, in fact that I do not have many photos although I will share links to that at the bottom of this post. For this workshop, I focus on Itajime and Arashi shibori techniques. For Itajime, I taught the accordion fold leading up to square and triangle binds. One person experimented with a radial folded Itajime as well. You can see her results below, the second from the right. Below at the far right, the fold is called the "snow flower" which consists of a triangle fold and a clamped rectangle. If all of this sounds like geometric gibberish, then I highly recommend that you take a class and you will learn more by doing it. Keep on reading to see more beautiful results from the event!
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my workshops for creative people like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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