Shibori Landscapes


Shibori Landscapes

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It poured rain last night so the pieces got soaked, but I didn’t see any colorful drippings on the cement below (good sign!). So, I guess the kids did get enough of that excess dye out after all. I was a little concerned. They’ll be coming down soon, I thought at the end of the week (today), but they were still up this afternoon.

I lingered after my classes were over, as I usually do, sitting through the first part of TOK (Theory of Knowledge) in the same classroom. Under any other circumstances I wouldn’t do this. It’s inconsiderate to stick around in another teacher’s classroom, but this teacher has kindly allowed it. I really enjoy listening to her students’ interactions and reports. It’s a thoughtful group and the ideas are so thought provoking, I want to stay and listen. Today, though, they were discussing art, creating their own definitions and criteria for it. Beth had also said she wanted to take the kids out to the courtyard to see the installation. So I stayed to talk a little about shibori and give a little background to the project. We did go out and the kids, after discussing their assignments in groups, gave their assessments which was all very affirming. They didn’t want to see it come down so soon. They’ve been enjoying it apparently. Some said that when they looked at it from their other classrooms, it wasn’t a distraction, but a break from the stress or anxiety they were feeling. Others commented that they had no idea that such seemingly simple techniques rendered so many different patterns. They found the viewing intriguing and pleasurable. So, I think we succeeded with what we set out to do.

It took a lot of early planning (in the fall and throughout the year). Then once materials had been gathered, the students worked their magic (the shibori). They were dyed, and washed (in the classroom), then dried on a clothesline (in my backyard). After that, they had to be ironed, then casings and hems had to be sewn in (the sewing dept. did this). Finally, the students went out and made specific measurements around the courtyard and planned their strategy for display. Then, the day came for the installation. That required permissions from other teachers (to access their rooms during class) and aid from other teachers and administrators. Once up, we’ve received nothing but more encouragement to do it again and on an even grander scale. One of the administrators said they could put in permanent hooks on the sides of the buildings to facilitate things. So, who knows? Another installation?

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