Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wring, Squeeze or Press

I put my cloth through a couple of dye baths last week and am beginning to clarify what direction I am going in this semester. I love the process, the crisp white cloth, the buckets of warm water, the apron and rubber gloves. Using wood blocks, rocks, rubber bands, thread, clamps and bubble wrap to create pattern. Watery marks left on the cloth, like Rorschach blots, colors mixing in the water, or layer upon layer on the cloth, like watercolors. I was happy to see the cell-like forms rocks created (on green cloth left) and have been looking at the shapes and patterns of magnified plant cells, tree rings, roots, onion skins and tubers. I'm also experimenting with pole wrapping, binding, folding, and stitching - traditional shibori techniques. It is a beautiful art form and I am amazed by the imagery, depth and color that can be created on cloth through these methods. And, it is addictive. "Never throw a piece of cloth out, ever, no matter how much you don't like it!" declares my instructor. "You can always do something more to it." And it's true: dye, discharge and repeat. Many happy accidents await!

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