Posts Tagged ‘Beaufort’

a short jaunt

June 28, 2015

A short jaunt to New Bern, North Carolina’s first capitol, was enlightening. I could have stayed longer but we had a little further to go. Still, we had a chance to examine some of the old gravestones around Christ Episcopal Church and what I thought were stained glass windows.


in the churchyard

Viewing the windows from the outside was a draw, of course.  I wasn’t leaving that town without seeing them in full color.


So, I did go inside and learned that they were not stained glass, but hand painted.  The guide said “museum quality”.

Then, we drove on to Beaufort, where we caught a ferry to Shackleford Banks where the wild ponies roam.

We didn’t see them this trip, but the fresh air, soft sand and other natural aspects of the island were refreshing.  Another return trip for sure.

Home again – working on my son’s curtains and preparing for 2 weeks of youth camp at Artspace.I will make a point of finding time for my personal explorations. Definitely. It’s still June, after all – my month.

Beaufort workshop & indigo

February 11, 2011

Over dyeing with indigo

Today, Janine and I would have driven down to Beaufort, NC, a small town just next to Morehead City. It’s really just over the big bridge, actually. The workshop topic was “continued studies” with indigo and shibori, basically. This time, we just didn’t have enough applicants, so we have postponed until spring. Right now, it looks like May, which would be a perfect time for soft breezes and pieces on an outdoor clothesline.

In the meantime, I’m continuing with my indigo explorations. The scarves I sell are a part of that process, but lately, I am intrigued with how the pigment reacts with silk noil. So, I’m working on a series that integrates shibori patterns and of course, indigo. I love the nubby, loose weave of the fabric when I stitch on it. It takes the dye well, except for the “problem’ of wicking. It’s also a thick fabric, which I didn’t really expect and that also presents challenges. There’s always some ‘engineering’ aspect that I didn’t anticipate. One of my concerns is that fading may also be an issue – that the dye may be more fugitive on this fabric than say, linen, for example. I may have seen it in an earlier piece and it either faded or I didn’t dip it for as long as I should have. I have a feeling though, that it’s the latter. It means I should do some test pieces.

Indigo dyeing & Shibori in Beaufort, NC

January 10, 2011

Furoshiki 1

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Amazingly, it’s time again to be thinking about our next workshop.

Here’s the write up:

Raleigh artists Susan Oliver Fennell and Janine LeBlanc will hold their third two-day indigo dyeing workshop at the Beaufort Art Center, Beaufort, NC on Saturday, February 12, 2010 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, February 13 from noon to 5 pm [This has been postponed to spring – I don’t have a date as yet].

Indigo dyeing has been practiced all over the world for hundreds of years. Its characteristic blue color can range from a pale sky blue to nearly black and is still used to dye denim jeans.

In this workshop, participants will use a traditional Japanese approach to transforming a piece of fabric using stitching, binding, capping, pole wrapping and clamping. We will use a slow and meditative approach to the design and preparation of a piece of one piece of fabric for a specific project — an article of clothing, a quilt or a tablecloth. The fabric will first be dyed a solid color using Procion MX dye and then over dyed using indigo. Participants should bring their own fabric or contact the workshop leaders for suggestions. No previous dyeing or sewing experience is necessary.

Susan spent her formative years in Japan and brings a deep understanding of Japanese culture. She has taught both Japanese language and indigo dyeing in Wake County schools. Janine brings her experience from her work with Japanese textiles at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NCSU.

To register for the workshop, call 252-622-8416 and leave a message or e-mail The workshop is limited to 12 participants with a minimum of six. Please reserve your space by registering before February 6. Cost is $100 plus $10 materials fee.

For additional information about the workshop, contact Janine at 919-881-8330 or Photos of Susan’s indigo dyed fabric can be found at

Some examples relating specifically to the topic can be found here.


September 5, 2010

Pattern 2

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I’m still processing the ideas & people I encountered at the Beaufort Arts Center last weekend. It was extraordinary. Janine LeBlanc & I taught a small group of the most enthusiastic women who came together for 2 days for indigo dyeing and shibori.

We couldn’t have asked for a better setting, in a small coastal city or the third oldest city in NC. There is an ambiance there and it isn’t just because it’s on the water. Some of it may have to do with the old stories in the graveyard we found nearby. Needless to say, there’s a lot to take in and we were fortunate to be staying in a private home built in the mid-1800s as was the arts center. It was originally a school house built around the same time.

It seemed so appropriate, so right to set our indigo pieces out to catch the sea breezes. The dyestuff is ancient with so much lore and mystique, it just seemed fitting to be exploring aspects of it in Beaufort, NC.

Beaufort, NC Indigo Workshop

July 29, 2010

August is nearly here and it’s a month crammed with events and activity.  Beginning next week, I teach rising middle school students the art of indigo dyeing and shibori at Artspace (downtown Raleigh).  It will be a full week of dyeing, learning about itajime, binding, wrapping and a lot of nui (stitching).

Following that is a second week at Artspace working with rising 3rd – 5th graders doing a workshop titled Matsuri! 祭り!(festivals!).  We will be looking at crafts (textile) related to that theme as summer is one of the best times to explore that topic (can’t imagine why!).

After a week’s break in Tampa with family, I’ll be returning home to teach aizome shibori with Janine LeBlanc in Beaufort, NC.  I’ve posted more about that below:

Dates:  August 28th & 29th

Place:  Beaufort Art Center

Instructors:  Janine LeBlanc and Susan Fennell

For further details scroll down to p. 8 in the Arts Alive Newsletter for southeast NC.

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