Saturday, December 27, 2014

Indigo Dreams

It's been a blue Christmas.
Very blue.
Indigo blue.


Banding. Pinning.

Tyeing. Binding.

Dipping and waiting and rinsing and dripping.

In the cool of winter; a challenge since the dye has to be kept rather warm.

I warn you. It's addictive.

Table runners. Napkins. Clothing. So many ideas!

Did not like my new electric tjanting tool. The sharp point catches on the fabric. Next time I won't use it.

No. I don't think I'm even half done yet. This just has to run its course.

Stay cozy. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pattern, Textile and Obsession

All this week I've been asking myself why we love what we love. Specifically, why have I always loved pattern, busy repeated pattern, particularly in textile and most particularly in Indian textiles. 

I suspect it has something to do with how it looks so much like woodblock printing which I also have loved from the beginning. I'm particularly drawn to the German Expressionists but not that picky. I also love linoleum prints and rubber stamps. I just wish we'd had the soft rubber to carve when I was in school, abusing my hands cutting large multiple plate prints out of plywood. Advice to young printmakers - cut nothing harder than basswood. Or risk carpal tunnel swelling. 

But I digress. This week I fell down the rabbit hole (again) of multiple block printing. In a smaller way since I take better care of my hands now. So I cut soft rubber, small plates, just enough to satisfy my yearning for prints, printing, playing with rollers and inks.

I printed a couple of scarves on white muslin, 100% cotton.

Used a combination of Versatex airbrush ink, Golden and craft acrylics and GAC 900.

I liked the first one until I put the ochre color on. Not horrible but I knew it could be better.

So I got up this morning determined to keep the border darker than the center.

Tried this color combination.

Yes, I like it better.

Now I have 5 yards of cotton and a lot of silk that I want to play with in the indigo dye pot next. All the while I'm doing this I'm dreaming of a trip a friend is planning early in 2016 in Jaipur, India. Not a teaching trip for me but just for immersion in the art and culture of India. John has even agreed to come along. We'll visit textile factories and take some workshops there from the Indian artisans. I'm terribly excited to go and much later I'll introduce you to the woman who is organizing this. She's a world traveling gypsy who's been to India before and is going to make the trip wonderful.

Funny where our rabbit holes take us, isn't it? 

Follow your bliss.