I’ve been on a learning binge lately which has been fun. Recently I signed up for an on-line class in Shibori techniques. I’ve done some woven shibori in the past, but never the traditional techniques on silk.

I’m in the second week of a 5-week session and it’s been a blast.  Not only is Glennis a wonderful teacher, the class of people from all over the world has been enthusiastic and very creative.  Glennis designed the on-line class to be a weekly uploaded teaching pdf document with embedded videos and a blog where we all share ideas.

The first class was about using clamped resists on silk samples using ColorHue Dyes.  I wasn’t thrilled with the pale results.

The itajime technique was difficult for me with all the clamps and shapes, but fun nonetheless.

Last week in Lesson 2, Glennis introduced three different techniques using hand stitching–mokume (rows of running stitches, similar to woven shibori), makiage (pattern within a motif), and orinui (overcast stitching on a fold).  This was more my style. I love to sew, these techniques give me much more control, and an additional video gave me much more information on how to increase the intensity of the color.

The photos show the initial stitching, everything gathered and dyed, and the unveiling which I’m crazy about!

I’m very pleased that the color was so intense.  The blue sample was simply dyed, but the other two were immersed up to a point and the rest of was painted.  Fascinating how it all works.

This summer I’ll be attended an indigo dye workshop and I’m sure I’ll be bringing plenty of work from the techniques I learn over the next few weeks to place in the dye pot.

I will continue to post with each new technique learned.  Stay tuned.

I’ve been away on vacation but prior to my departure last week, I was very busy exploring a technique which is new to me in weaving and dyeing.  Undoubtedly, many of you have heard of woven shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique that Catherine Ellis so brilliantly adapted for the loom.

During the painted warps workshop, Kathie Roig mentioned that I might want to think about trying shibori using paints or dyes.  I began to get a vision in my head for a worship stole for my brother who is a Lutheran pastor.  An upcoming dye day at the Cleveland West Weavers gave me the opportunity to plan for a sample to explore the possibilities.

First I warped up the loom with a combination of rayon and cotton with the idea that I would weave the pattern threads in a pointed twill in five different treadlings with plain weave in between.  After it was finished, my brother David and I could choose the most effective look.

The entire project was based on the colors of Pentecost; the tongues of fire could be dramatic. So I wove the cloth and then at dye day I chose two different yellows to dye the open cloth.

The purple threads in the cloth separate the different treadling patterns. The small green threads are the pattern threads thrown from a separate shuttle to create the pattern later.

After the dye was set, rinsed and dried, I pulled on the pattern threads to draw the cloth into a tight gather.

Then I had to soak the cloth again in a dye activator.  After an hour or so, I took the cloth out to my picnic table where I applied a thickened red dye to the tops of the folds to create a dramatic pattern. Here it is just waiting to be revealed.

Shibori is a process that takes patience.  After this top dye is applied, it must set for at least four hours, but I wanted to be absolutely sure, so I wrapped it in plastic, had dinner, went to bed, off to work the next morning and then came home to rinse it thoroughly and let it dry outside.  Then the threads were cut and pulled out.  I was so pleased.

You can see that the treadling changes show an enormous difference in each pattern.  Plus the fact that on the right side, I changed my weft from an 8/2 cotton to a flake cotton.

Dave chose the pattern on the lower right and I concurred.  I think it will made a dramatic presentation of Pentecost and other special liturgical days when he is on the altar.

I now know what will occupy my loom for July.  I will post the final project when I finish later this summer.