Monthly Archives: May 2015

NEWLY DYED TEXTILES

May 28, 2015

 

Textiles that were dyed this week are in the shop (or will be soon).
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Stripe: this was a beast to dye, 4 foot planks for compression and a bucket that just wasn’t deep enough…lots of hand brushing and rotating had to happen. Also, I didn’t have a plexi glass piece that tall so I had to use wood and the tannin left a faint yellow hue to the base. Not too noticeable, but it’s all part of the learning process!2

Snowflakes: this 66″ long piece of fabric turned out to be a pretty thick triangle bundle. It was compressed between triangle blocks and fully submerged in the vat.

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Diamonds: I tried a totally new technique with this piece. After clamping between triangle blocks, I only dipped the edges into the vat (6 dips with 25 minute oxidation in-between). I like how clean this one turned out.

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Circles: This piece was essentially one big triangle before getting compressed between 2 pieces of circle plexi glass.

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I am calling this one scarabs, because the shape reminds me of one. This was completely accidental. I mean…I was trying to make zig zags (i know, right?) but I was pleasantly amazed. This is the number one reason I love tie-dying, the element of surprise!

ALL IMAGES © H & FIELD, 2015

SPOTLIGHT: GARNER BLUE

May 26, 2015

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When I first laid eyes on the work of Garner Blue, I knew I wanted to share it with you. Lisa Garner, the designer/maker/owner of Garner Blue, creates breathtaking Indigo pieces for the body and home. Her work is nothing short of captivating and the photography on her site causes a serious spark of inspiration. Lisa not only creates textiles, but she also makes the coolest hand-dyed birch wood earrings.

Since I love talking with other Indigo enthusiasts, I jumped at the chance to ask her about our shared passion.

H & F: How did you first become interested in natural dyeing?
Lisa from Garner Blue: I first got into indigo dyeing to actually teach a quick workshop on it at a weekend camp my friend and I organized to dive into a few fine craft methods (basics of leather working, rope tying a door mat and photo transfers on wood were the other projects). So I learned as much as I could to teach about it to a group of a dozen women and while learning I realized how much i enjoyed it (and how much more there is to learn!)

H & F: Do you have a favorite tool you use in your dyeing process? (clamp, wax, string, etc.)
Lisa from Garner Blue: This summer I’m hoping to experiment with some more resists but for now i’m having fun with some non- traditional forms like cassette tapes and shapes i cut out of wood and acrylic to create different patterns.

H & F: Where do you derive your inspiration from?
Lisa from Garner Blue: inspiration comes from all over for sure but rocks, shells, woodgrains, leaves, well loved textiles, Turkish kilim, and always the work of creative friends.

H & F: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from all your experience with natural dyes?
Lisa from Garner Blue: I actually only have experience with indigo…I’m sure at some point I’ll venture into others but for now i really enjoy the indigo being the constant in what i’m making. And I feel like such a newbie still– but I’ve learned to not rush the process, and as silly as this sounds to respect the dye vat. It feels a little like a dance, even though i know some say it’s a science.

Thanks Lisa! xx

Learn more about Lisa & Garner Blue from her WEBSITEINSTAGRAM, JOURNAL 

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IMAGE CREDITS: 1-5, 6-7, 8

 

UNCONVENTIONAL RESISTANCE TOOLS FOR INDIGO DYEING

May 17, 2015

 

Lately I have been experimenting with some unconventional dyeing tools (tape, plastic wrap, plastic, etc). Some things work and others definitely do not. Here is a rundown of what I have discovered (purely my opinion). Hopefully this will help to inspire other textile artists.

 

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PROS: Spring and C-clamps can provide a good amount of tension and work fairly well for keeping dye from seeping under your resistance blocks.

CONS: Always make sure to clean your clamps extremely well after use. Even if you rinse them after the dye bath, they can still hold some Indigo on their surface weeks later. This is a bummer, especially when you learn the hard way (clamping them to fresh white fabric during your next dye session). Another con is that they can be very bulky, heavy, and hard to fit in a small dye vat. Due to their weight, they will sink to the bottom of the vat if left unattended (where all the sediment collects). I recommend holding (and dunking) them into the dye.

 

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PROS: These are essential for Arashi shibori (pole-wrapping shibori). I have found success with all kinds of dowels (PVC pipe, wooden dowels, and metal pipe). If you properly clean them, you can reuse them forever. A big pro for this tool is that you can often use something you already have around your home (a broom handle, pluming remnants, an old curtain rod…you get the picture :) Another pro is that you get dramatically different results depending on the circumference of the dowel.

CONS: Do not use any wooden dowels that have been previously stained, as the stain color can transfer onto your fabric when it gets wet.

 

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Thread has become my favorite tool (although it is more conventional, I still want to address it). You can do amazing things with thread. You can hand stitch patterns with it, hold pleats together, or use it for cinching the cloth. The gauge also makes a huge difference in the resulting pattern.

WHAT TO USE:

  • waxed cord: resists dye and never breaks, you can pull this with all your might. Stick to a natural color because the dyed wax cords can transfer color onto your fabric.
  • sewing thread: I prefer the “heavy duty” thread, which is strong and gives great results. As above, stick to a white or natural color to avoid color crocking onto your fabric.
  • waxed dental floss: This is great because it’s cheap, easy to control and knots well. Just remember to use a needle with a larger eye if you decide to sew with this option.

AVOID:

  • embroidery floss: The cotton based version soaks up a lot of dye and I wouldn’t use it again.
  • leather cord: I do not recommend this if it is a tanned or dyed leather due to possible color transfer.
  • clear thread, similar to fishing line: ok, but not great and a little hard to control (a bit slippery / my knots wouldn’t hold).

 

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PROS: I haven’t had any success with this yet, but I am eager to experiment with “furniture wrap”, which was recommended to me.

CONS: With standard kitchen plastic wrap: the harder I pulled, the more it ripped, exposing the cloth underneath. If you do get a nice seal and hold it together (with rubber bands, thread, etc.) the dye still seems to seep in.

 

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This medium is tricky because it must be waterproof & you never want to use a tape that would leave sticky residue on your cloth.

WHAT TO USE:

  • I have only had success so far with plumber’s tape (but there isn’t very much to a roll and it can be a bit fussy with folding onto itself).

AVOID:

  • clear packing tape: it will just float away in the dye vat.
  • duct tape: it leaves a sticky residue on your fabric.
  • iron-on hem tape: sounded like a good idea to me…it wasn’t.
  • electrical tape: floats away.

UNCLEAR:

    • floral tape (not sure how it will work).

 

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PROS: These work fairly well to apply pressure on woodblocks or sticks, keeping them from shifting (this would be for Itajime shibori: a shaped-resist technique).  The key is to use more than you think to ensure a tight seal. You can also use them to hold a folded fabric bundle into place without the use of woodblocks. Rubber bands are also great for making small pinches in fabric, creating the classic burst design you often see. Another pro is that they come in so many sizes and thicknesses. I love the different effects you can get just by using a thicker rubber band.

CONS: If you use the same rubber bands over and over again, the indigo can stick to the surface and rub off onto your new fabric. They can also break easily and when they pop, it hurts!

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DYEING TOOL

HAPPY DYEING !

image credits: all from Home Depot, except the threads, which are from Tandy Leather 

 

THE MOD BOHO

May 9, 2015

 

If you want to overflow with indigo inspiration, I suggest you head over to the instagram of The mod boho…

SHOP, INSTAGRAM

 

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ONLINE WORKSHOPS

May 7, 2015

 

I have been investigating online Shibori workshops this week and wanted to share what I have found thus far. These three seem to be the best options (from what I could find).

 

1). “BASIC SHIBORI DYEING WITH INDIGO” by Shibori.com.au (trailer here). The class is $55 and their website notes that this class, “offers easy to follow steps for 10 techniques including Itajime, Kumo, Stripes, Arashi and more!” I like that this course teaches three types of Shibori for one price. I haven’t taken it, but it looks like a good option.

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2). “FOLDING AND CLAMPING TECHNIQUES & TYING TECHNIQUES” by Madesmith Academy. These are two separate classes, each are $49. I actually took the folding and clamping class and it teaches you tortoiseshell, square, circle, and lattice techniques. The instructions are clear and precise / a good tutorial for Shibori first timers.

 

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3). “LET’S DYE WITH INDIGO” by Shibori Girl ($75). Okay, this class looks amazing. It covers everything from starting and maintaining your Indigo vat to itajime and stitched Shibori. It also provides .PDF documents for future reference. I may check this one out.

 

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PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER OPTIONS OUT THERE

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY AT HOME WITH JESSICA MARQUEZ

May 3, 2015

 

I am overjoyed to announce that my Shibori napkins are featured in the new craftsy class, Product Photography At Home, taught by Jessica Marquez from Miniature Rhino. I have always loved the embroidery kits Jessica makes and her book Stitched Gifts is absolutely amazing (she did all the photography herself)! Needless to say, I am honored to be part of this class.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Craftsy, it’s an online resource that offers classes, supplies, and tools to help you grow as a artist and maker. There are hundreds of classes on quilting, knitting, sewing, art, and so much more.

The description of this class follows, “Improve your product photography and your sales with images that give you an edge in the marketplace and attract the customers you want. Professional photographer and small-business owner Jessica Marquez demonstrates how to create simple tabletop setups that bring any product to life. Then, discover how to manipulate light, use a variety of backgrounds and shoot from different angles so that you always show your products in their best light — indoors and out! Next, learn how to incorporate a live model into your shots, and get tips for lighting and directing your subject for relaxed, natural-looking photos. Finally, find out how to expertly style props to lend personality and depth to your shots, and learn to create and scale editorial images with confidence. Plus, get postproduction tips for flawlessly finished images that resonate with your customer.”

To celebrate the launch, Jessica is doing a contest on her blog for 50% off the class and a chance to win a free class of your choice from Craftsy. To enter, click here. This contest will close May 8 and the winner will be contacted directly by Craftsy with the details on the 9th.

CLASS TRAILER, CLASS LINK (for $10 off)!

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all above photos taken by Jessica Marquez for Craftsy

SHIBORI WALLPAPER

May 1, 2015

 

If you love Shibori as much as I do, you will be happy to know that you can now cover your walls in it! Here are my favorites:

1. Shibori Wallpaper by Wabi Sabi (available in 6 colors) here.

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2. Shibori “Star” and “Suns” by Milton and King

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 3. Shibori Wallpaper by Amber Interiors here (available in 3 colors).

image credit 1, 2, 3

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