Warm weather means indigo

This past week we had some 90 degree weather so I continued my indigo experiments using the stencils that Shibori Girl gave me along with some indigo moons I purchased from her shop. The darker dots were brushed on through the stencils after two more dips into the indigo bath, washing out the rice paste, and brushing on a layer of soybean milk. The soybean milk prepares the surface to minimize wicking as well as help to prevent the indigo from rubbing off (crocking). I mixed my natural pigments with soybean milk. Sounds like a lot of fussing but really wasn’t — just a few moments in the warm afternoons, out in the blooming garden. (If you want to learn more about painting with Indigo, check out this article from Turkey Red Journal, written by John Marshall.)

The glue-like grip of the paste resist never ceases to amaze me. This week I did 2 more dips leaving the fabric in for 2 minutes each and drying on the line fully between each dip.

And closer up…

A gift of hand-woven African cotton; read for dip in dye vat later today. I pasted through some old crocheted doilies – doilies as stencils.



Rabbit repeat, again

I’ve finished the last bit of cutting and testing of my rabbit-moon-greens repeat. I’ve illustrated the last couple steps in the repeat testing process on my new Facebook page. Stop by for a visit! FB has been a real learning curve for me. My intention is to make the updates there shorter and sweeter. Some people prefer Facebook to blogs. It seems like the online world is forever shifting and adaptability is the key!
Here’s the final stencil. I’m pasting and dyeing other work this week, along with reinforcing the stencil. The rabbits will be ready to paste later in the week. This one will work as a single pictorial image i.e. for a hanging as well as a repeat. The size of the image is 12×16.”

Stencil progress; Japanese textile treasures

I’m about mid-way through carving my new rabbit-with-moon-and-greens stencil. Must take breaks to stretch the shoulders. I enjoy the challenge of designing repeats, but my next several designs will be simpler, non-repeating motifs. (I wreally wrestled w/this wrabbit!)


Last Friday I visited a yard sale given by local moku hanga (Japanese woodblock) printmaker Jean Shannon and potter Lee Love. Lee and Jean spent 10 years in Mashiko Japan studying and working. The yard sale was overflowing with textiles and other items from their time in Japan. I bought a couple of lovely vintage treasures — a silk kanoko shibori kimono and a linen katazome runner, indigo dyed.



I also stopped by Jean and Lee’s exhibit at Raymond Gallery in St. Paul. Jean’s prints depict Japanese toys, symbols, and scenery in bright colors. The colorful prints and earthy wood and soda-ash fired pots worked very well together! You will be able to see some photos of the show here. I look forward to seeing more of both of their work when we all participate in the Art at St. Kate’s show on July 11th!