Posts Tagged ‘custom work’

in a blink

March 12, 2015

In a blink of an eye it feels like spring has arrived. Daffodils are in bloom and my bluebells won’t be far behind. The warm temperatures and sun have made it possible to complete a dye job that has lingered since last month.

enjoying their shape & color

enjoying their shape & color

Daphne survived the ice and cold temps.

Daphne survived the ice and cold temps.

I enjoy each one that comes along, but it seems there was more variation in the fibers in this particular order. There was a tunic in an airy silk/cotton blend, another feather light silk tunic (with ruffles and ties), and a soft rayon top. They took the dye beautifully and had no trouble achieving the depth of blue that was requested. There were more and they were just as delicious.

silk tunic

silk tunic

Each piece had an unexpected richness, it seems. It simply continues to reaffirm the wonder of the dye, its color and the challenges it presents.

over dyed embroidery on a cotton blouse

over dyed embroidery on a cotton blouse

It was a pleasure to finally mail the box of goods off to my customer this morning. I suppose it marks the end of winter work. Now, on to spring. It calls.

There are workshops afoot, continued planning and preparation for the upcoming seasons. There is much to look forward to. I find though, that those spaces between events are equally important – one needs time for stillness, quiet, making it possible for exploration, invention…or maybe just dipping.

will we need another table?

April 10, 2014


Some bits and pieces from First Friday at Artspace – results from last weekend. It was an enjoyable evening; there was a good crowd moving through the building and those of us participating in the evening’s demo room had plenty of visitors.

photo-12 oxidation andit'sblue1

Rain moved in the earlier part of the week, but the sun (and the pine pollen) finally made appearance making possible some beginning work on a custom order.

Slow Art Day has been another topic all week and I think it’s in place – we’re ready. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to spending some time at the exhibit (coming up Saturday) and lunch at the Irregardless.  Hmm. Looks like we might need to add another table from the looks of things…. However it all comes to play, 花見・はなみ・Hana Mi (flower viewing season) comes to mind. It should be fine day for it. Please click the turtle or see my “Events” page for more specifics.


a touch of blue

June 2, 2013


It’s been a quiet but ideal week for the indigo vat and dyer.  The day and evening temps have been just right with some gentle breezes. The focus has mostly been on a custom order for one who loves not just the color blue, but more specifically indigo – definitely a customer to my liking.

Early in the week though, I dropped by the museum to pick up a ticket to the book club .  Under discussion is Emma Donoghue’s Room.  We will, in some way, make a connection to one of our current exhibitions:  Dwelling:  Interiors by Page H. Laughlin and Pamela Pecchio. 


Both artists examine the home or “domestic interiors” but with different lenses – Pecchio through photography and Laughlin through paint.  I’d like to step into some of the images and explore their environments, others seem so familiar and there are probably a few that I’m not so sure about.  That’s fine too.  They’ve given me something to consider within my own walls.

Outside of these things. I also spent some time playing, practicing and considering the complexities and wonders of itajime shibori.  It’s never as straightforward as it looks,  The classic patterns present like a puzzle or kaleidoscope. The “solutions” seem always just out of reach…written in that magical language (日本語).  Sometimes I find a hint and it’s enough to go on, but sometimes it’s a mystery.

2940A A few phrases tickling the  brain this week:

藍の濃度 – あいの のどう・ai no nodou – concentration of the indigo (vat)

藍の浸透 – あいの しんどう・ai no shindou – it’s saturation (on the cloth)

Possibly an old and familiar word “たたむ” also means to fold (probably cloth).

 At least, this is my understanding of the message.

continuing with custom work

October 9, 2012

custom work: on the line

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I started this work last week and have had to halt things due to more persistent wet and cooler weather than anticipated. The gloom and chill has been through today as well.

I could work in the garage, but I also prefer good light. The presence of sun helps with that. I’m working with values (as seems to always be the case) and I need to see that depth of color. Tomorrow is predicted to be better. As much as I enjoy the change in seasons, there’s work yet to be done.

Fortunately, it seems we can strike a balance here or at least stretch the seasons a bit (or maybe I cheat a bit!). At least during this time between summer and winter I’m trying to squeeze in as much vat time as is possible.

the sun came out

October 5, 2012

the sun came out
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

The sun did come out to play today after a seemingly long week of drizzle, thunderstorms, warm temps and high humidity. If I was out, it wasn’t related to the vat. What little work I did in that regard was limited and in the dye studio.

Today was a wonderful reprieve and was finally able to continue  work for a customer who loves indigo.

I’m also trying to squeeze in some personal work before cooler weather arrives later this weekend (I’ve been told). Also, for some reason, I’ve noticed of late the sweet floral scent of the indigo. It isn’t an everyday experience.

custom work

June 15, 2012

custom work – det. 1
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Dyeing a shirt like this, a tablecloth or blue jeans puts the indigo into a different context – at least for me. I tend to look through a different lens most of the time. So, doing custom work presents new challenges and a different perspective. It’s refreshing.

It also puts me in contact with people who think differently about what they wear. Some are passionate about indigo (as this customer is) and some want to “upscale (?), recycle or change what they have. They want to keep that wardrobe, make it last, but also make it new. I do the same with my own wardrobe.

In this case, I’ve been introduced to new fibers and fiber combinations, so it has given me a lot to think about, at least in terms of material.

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