Tiny steps working with katazome techniques

I am testing some 50/50 linen cotton fabric I’ve had packed away to see if it is suitable for pillows I want to make. I have been threatening to make the transition to katazome techniques using natural pigments and dyes since taking the workshop with John Marshall in the summer 2004. I am inspired by the tools, materials, process, and results, and I feel it fits sensibilities. My baby steps this week were satisfying. I was/am afraid of the labor intensiveness of the process, because I am basically a lazy person, but so far I don’t think it is any more labor intensive than what I have been doing with fiber reactive dyes and all the chemicals, etc. for years. In fact, it may be a bit simpler. We shall see. I think Mr. Marshall was right, “soy milk is the ambrosia of the Fiber Gods.” After allowing the fabric to cure for a minimum time (i.e. several days) I will wash it out and post more photos.

Signs of Spring, New Stencil

I have been looking for signs of spring on my daily walk.

Could it be a sign?
Could it be a sign?

view to the northwest

view to the northwest

I’m working on some new stencils. Here’s the first one, purple coneflower. Cut from Shibugami paper, which smells delicious and cuts beautifully. Next step is lacquering the stencil per John Marshall’s non-toxic method. I will wait to lacquer until all my designs are ready. Today I make rice paste in preparation for some experiments on my chosen cloth.

 

coneflwr1
purple coneflower

Crows for BirdxBird 2009

I’ve finished my work for 2009 BirdxBird. I made two pieces simultaneously, so I would be sure to have one for this cause, and to play with two variations of my idea. The work Crow 2, below, will be part of the silent auction, to be held next Saturday evening, Feb. 21st, at Northrup King Building in NE Minneapolis. This event features work by 130 artists in all media to benefit Audubon Center of the North Woods & Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. It is GREAT FUN! If you live in the vicinity, please attend! Details can be found on the website. My works, below, each measure approx. 22″ x 15″, including the border. Hand dyed fabric, paste resisted, discharged, hand pieced and embellished.

Two blogs have been hugely inspiring to me this past month, nudging me
to think outside the box and pull out needle, thread and thimble more
than I usually do. Threadspider is working on some beautiful embroidered birds celebrating Darwin’s birthday. SpiritCloth‘s
creativity with hand piecing, stitching and quilting is mind-boggling,
as is her documentation of the creative process. If you need to get
un-stuck, spend a few moments over there.