Posts Tagged ‘Textiles’

dipping into shirokage

July 10, 2016

Shirogake (white shadow) shibori has been dangling like a carrot before me for some time. The pattern mystified me to be honest. Then a friend went to an out of state exhibit where a kimono in the pattern was on display.   She sent a photo and I was hooked (again).  To bring it about took some time.

wrapped on a pole

wrapped on a pole

After stitching the pattern and pulling it up, all I wanted was to dye it – see those results! In my haste and excitement, I forgot the next step – wrapping it against a rope or pole. Then, I realized what I was doing and stopped. I wrapped it against a pipe and continued on, hoping I hadn’t spoiled the shirokage. If I did, well, I’d try again.

unbinding from the pole

unbinding from the pole

In removing the piece from the pole, there seemed to be some resist. So, something worked.

before releasing the stitches

before releasing the stitches

The proof would be in removing the stitches and it seemed to work. The question was whether or not the pattern could be read.

releasing the pattern

releasing the pattern

It isn’t completely shiro, but the pattern can be read. It works…well enough to at least give an understanding of the technique and theory. This was practice, theory, learning, experiment…it’s all it can be and quite satisfying.  Yes, I would do this again.

the pattern - not completely "shiro" and blue, but it can be read.

the pattern – not completely “shiro” and blue, but it can be read.

尺八・Shakuhachi – a textile story

October 16, 2014

In July, I wrote about creating a piece based on the kanji 尺八shakuhachi. My patron has a brother who (to my understanding) repairs, makes and also plays the instrument. The piece was for him.

Shakuhachi

Shakuhachi

Before the ‘assignment’ could be considered though, researching the kanji was in order. What did it/they look like and how complicated would they be? Could it be rendered in shibori? I was suprised to find that they were quite straightforward – only a few strokes. 尺 (shaku) – refers to a unit of measure – 4 strokes, and 八 (hachi)–means 8, but more relevant in this context is that it is the 3rd in the Iroha syllabary organization – only two (strokes).

shaku

shaku

hachi

hachi

After transferring the drawn characters onto linen, the next consideration was the approach for stitching – in what direction would I work? I decided that moving in the same directions as one would when writing would be most logical. The first “stroke” was on the left, so I stitched from top to bottom. The second “stroke” was left to right with a “stop” or turn to move down (all one stroke) – and so on.

Shaku-det1A HachiDet1A

My concern was that the strokes would convey some sense of the brush and the characteristics of those strokes. The beginnings and endings needed to have ‘proper’ weight.  Another aspect was simply composition which included the space between the characters – enough space to breathe, yet seen together as a word.  It has to be read.

Once stitching was completed and all thread drawn up tightly, the piece was immersed in a natural indigo vat. It was “dipped” and given oxidation time many times over until it arrived at a satisfying depth of hue.  And then,  those other “tidying up” details – rinsing (maybe washing), pressing, the han (name stamp), press again, casings…done.

displayed with Shakuhachi as the display hangers

with Shakuhachi as the display hangers & weight

musician and 尺八

musician and 尺八

Finally, this month, it was delivered to its new home.  One isn’t always privy to what happens with pieces after they move on to their new life. Sometimes a story is told, but rarely does one see it. This was one of those rare and surprising gifts.

Connections (the exhibit)

September 12, 2014

I would be remiss if I didn’t post this:

Connections-pstcrd1

We are less than a week away and I’ve been mentioning this, but a post devoted to it was needed.  The above image is linked to the site for more information.  You can also find the same on my “Events” page.  We (Threads group) are thrilled to pieces about this, also honored and deeply touched as it also celebrates Cheryl Harrison who was a part of our group.  Hope you can join us!

Inch by inch

May 10, 2013

2820

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I need to research that little phrase. It keeps “visiting” from time to time. It works well though in a lot of different contexts: the garden and then the textile work.

This hasn’t progressed as quickly as I’d hoped this week, but I’m finding little things that need to be done…little considerations that I hope will make a difference.

I’m also learning simply by trial and error why things need to be done in a particular way (some things, not all). Sometimes a book can’t tell you, you just have to experience it, make the “mistakes” and then work with it. That’s the deal anyway.

It’s very satisfying work though and love working with the layers, needle and thread and feeling the textures as I work. It’s a loving challenge.

I think that’s the deal here.  I love the color, the imagery, the patterns, the feel of the linen under my fingers.  I also love the challenge of the work – threading the needle, pushing it through the layers of the quilt, then pulling the thread (hand dyed thread, by the way) and seeing the form it creates.  It has to work.

Safflower sprouts

May 3, 2013

Safflower sprouts
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

The rain has been generous this week and I think there’s more around the corner. Although, at the moment the sun is out (first time I’ve seen it all week).

The first (Safflower) of the sprouts I planted last week emerged and I hope the rest will be along soon. They’re look hearty and plentiful. I may want to transplant some of them later (or start another bunch somewhere else). At any rate, I’m happy to see them.

It has taken far too long to get to this point – just growing them. The flower, the dye and colors they produce have long had an appeal. I’ve seen shows on NHK about the process, and one of Miyazaki’s anime (Omoide Poro Poro) shows a little of the flower harvesting. So, we’ll see what summer brings regarding that aspect of the garden.

2763A

The temps have also been unusually cool, for this time of year (at least it seems) or it’s our blackberry winter.  Although, it may be a bit early for that.  However that is, the cool and gloom have been ideal for staying indoors and making further progress on this quilted piece.

It took a couple of days just to complete the moon and I’m still not sure I don’t need to add a few more stitches somewhere else.  I’m working back and forth between the top most layer and the background layer at the moment, just letting them tell me what the approach should be. This morning I added the han (name stamp & logo) and waiting for it to dry before moving on.

It’ll be back to stitching this afternoon unless the sunshine and garden call.  I’ve got plenty more safflower seeds.  I can plant some and share the rest with the birds.

swatches

February 28, 2013


swatches

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

The sun did not come out to play today – disappointing. Still, I was able to reach the few goals I was working toward – to get at least half the run (pants) complete (which I did) and the other half ready for completion tomorrow.

I also took small breaks and unbound the small swatches I stitched up over the weekend and earlier in the week. These are lighter fabrics than my usual and I wondered how they would take stitching – some stitches. Then there was the element of the dyeing.

There are still some questions and further stitching. These pieces have given me some of the information I needed – not unhappy with the results!

Tomorrow: back to the pants, but progress is good and I’ll work quickly.

A gift

December 21, 2012

A gift
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

This little beauty has been sitting on my desk unopened. It is small, about 3 inches long and less than an inch in height.

It’s wrapped in a very small hankie sized furoshiki of silk. The pattern is itajime shibori and was hand dyed in indigo. I didn’t make it. It’s a gift. It arrived earlier this week and I just couldn’t open it (any other time I might give in to temptation). It has been keeping me company when I work at my desk.

I love the presentation. I love the elegance, especially the knot. It makes that statement perfectly- why we really want to forgo the paper gift wrap and do something like this.  It isn’t just that it’s mottainai,, there’s the aesthetics as well.

It’s a beautiful presentation created by hand and much more. No wonder I’m in no hurry to see the contents of this package. I can wait.

Indigo & Henna vat

October 26, 2012

Indigo & Henna vat results
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

The image is of small samples, results from a henna/indigo vat – something I’ve been wanting to experiment with since this earlier this summer. I’m finally able to focus on it and am enjoying the results.

I had in mind the coming workshop for classroom teachers, upcoming at Artspace – thinking of presenting a vat that would be safe and approachable for the classroom.  In this case, I was thinking more of the younger set – the elementary group.  Of course, it’s really beyond that, but they were my focus since I’ve had some experience with presenting the vat to that age group (and higher).

I don’t know if at this point, if the workshop is going to come off (there’s still room…), but I’ve gained something just by the experiment. It’s a healthy direction and as I said earlier, I like the results and look forward to further work with it.

Kakishibui

September 21, 2012

Kakishibui
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It was perhaps a little late in the day to be doing this, but I just needed to get out in the sun, however much there was left in that spot. I also very much needed to “play” with the kakishibu and follow through with some things I’ve been wanting to do for weeks.

The gauze has been calling all summer and I wanted to saturate it with persimmon – I think it’ll be a scarf – something to wrap up in.  The shirt is linen – another hand dyed piece in my wardrobe.  I did one like it in indigo earlier and wear it frequently.

Earlier, the rain interfered, then a project that simply had to be done -custom work – important.   It was in indigo and it literally took most of my time, focus and energy. It seems to be how I approach things. So, it’s complete, “turned in,” so took the day to stop and savor the sun and a different hue.

Kakishibu

August 31, 2012

Kakishibu on cotton

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

This scarf is an example of what I’d hoped to be doing this time of year. It isn’t happening.  I’m paying close attention to the weather and the light. Things are just not in sync, not at all like last year. So far, it’s too humid and the sun – just not there when it’s wanted. I just need to be patient.

In the meantime, there’s the blue vat that calls and that seems to be the order of the day at this point. Work that I was anticipating a few weeks ago has “arrived” and wants a good deal of my attention and time. That’s indigo though.


%d bloggers like this: