New Year – New Resolve

It is Jan 2018.  I cannot believe it has been two, almost three years since I posted.  Many things have changed in my “exploration” of indigo and textiles and life.  In 2016 we moved from our house in the country to Salem, OR.  We spent most of that year and the next remodeling the house inside and out, so I am afraid this blog took a hit and has been neglected as well as my dyeing projects.  I have two new grandsons, which my daughter and son are willing to share with me – who can turn that down?  The best news, my husbands contract in China ends in July – it will be wonderful to have him home full time so we can spoil the grandchildren together and do some traveling.

However, despite all of that, I have been busy with classes and the past couple of years.   I squeezed in:  Katazome and natural dyes with Akemi Nakano Cohen (at Shakerag) , Shibori and Natural dyeing with Joan Morris (in Vermont at her studio) ,  Shibori with Jane Callendar (at Maiwa in Vancouver BC)  and Adire with Gasali Adeyomo (at the Mendocino Art Center).   I may talk about and post samples from those classes from time to time.  For now, the last workshop I took was a defining moment for me, a workshop from Bryan Whitehead in Fujino, Japan.  I had a creative epiphany of sorts while there and realized that at some point, one has to commit – no more classes – JUST DO IT.  A difficult concept for me but this year I am going to try and embrace that concept. I am posting three images from that workshop under Shibori.

The workshop included Indigo dyeing, Katazome, Shibori and Japanese bookbinding.  I decided I love Shibori stitch resist – especially Mokume but also the other variations.  I will be posting about the workshop in the days ahead – including photos.  I am also going to start a separate page that will contain pictures of my Shibori projects post Japan and onward.  I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to your comments.  I also hope to explore using natural dyes with my Shibori – trying out some experimental things later when the weather in Oregon dries up (or does it ever?).

My goal is to post at least once a week.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a year filled with creative possibilities.



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Fresh Indigo

I harvested my first crop of fresh Indigo last week.  I am going to use 1/2 of it for a fresh indigo vat and am drying the remaining 1/2 for later.  I ended up with 4, 1 gallon zip lock bags of fresh leaves.

Drying indigo1stharvest Evaindigo

I also did some rubbings with the fresh Indigo leaves – using John Marshalls book as a guide.   It yielded a dark bluish green color.  The first and third are stencils I put over silk squares and rubbed through with the indigo leaves.  The middle one is a silk square with the indigo leaves underneath and then I used a rubber mallet and pounded on top.

Will post more later….

rubbing2freshleafindigo Indigoleaf stencil rub with fresh indigo

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Katazome Workshop with John Marshall

A week after returning from Fiber in the Forest I took a 3-day Katazome Workshop with John Marshall at Eugene Textile Center.

I learned so much and John was a great teacher.  His sense of humor and practical approach made for a great learning experience.  He shared so much with us and brought a wealth of materials with him.

I have serious self confidence issues regarding creating “on the fly” and just about my lack of formal art or textile training.  This group of ladies provided so much inspiration and I learned much from them as well.

Below are a few pictures.  The first 4 are of my project and the last one is a class photo.  We each did the same picture and used the same pigments – it was amazing how different each one turned out.

I am inspired to add color to my projects!  More to come on my experimental soybean resist, using Johns suggestion.

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Eco Scarves – Final pictures

I promised pictures of the eco scarves after I over dyed them.  I was much happier with the scarf that I did on just a plain white than the scarf that I predyed with Weld.  I don’t think I cared for the eucalyptus leaves – or maybe I just didn’t like the composition.   I will definitely try my hand at making these again.  It was great fun and I can see lots of options.  I think it would fun to do with my grandaughter the next time we have a “girls weekend”.

What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?  If you click on the first picture it will go into a slide show mode so you can see larger photos.  For me, I like the Indigo overdyed.

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Fabric dying at Fiber in the Forest

Had a great Memorial Day weekend.  Cooked some yummy food and spent some time gathering my dye equipment together in preparation for a week of fabric dying.  I’m going to over dye my eco scarves with Indigo and also do some fat quarters with madder, brazilwood, weld and maybe some others.  I am going to try some thread resist and some other experiments.

On the last day of the workshop we did fabric dyeing.  First we did a tonal – I used the purple (see first two pictures) and then we used a couple of different folding techniques and three colors.  I had mixed results – I didn’t either use enough dye or didn’t squish (highly technical term) the fabric down into the dye enough.  I had a lot of white areas – which I don’t think we were supposed to have.  I did like one of my pieces – the others not so much.  However, I am interested in using the pleated technique with my indigo dying to see what I can achieve.  Here are a few of the results.  The one I like is the the one on the bottom.  The third pictures is of the cups that held our projects. We pleated and the rolled like a jelly roll, or squished the fabric into the cup, or pleated and fit in a cup without rolling.DSCF1005



DSCF1031 DSCF1033 DSCF1037

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Eco-prints – NOT!!

I know I promised to show the eco print scarves but I wasn’t happy with mine!  One of them turned out very dark – you can’t see any of the prints and the other – well – I’m just not liking it.  I took pictures and I am going to over dye them with Indigo to see what happens.  I am hoping I will end up with something more usable.  Look for  before and after pictures posted by next Friday.

I do love the technique and I plan to explore making them and using material from my yard and from our place in Turner.  I am hoping for some spectacular results.

This weekend I will add pictures of the some of the fabric we dyed.  Again, not to happy with a couple of mine – just poor choice of color on my part – but I did get a few pieces I am okay with.

I also want to explore some of the folding techniques we did, experimenting with natural dyes. I am not sure they will work since natural dyes require simmering the fabric for a period of time, but I think it would be fun to experiment.

Until later –

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Color at Fiber In the Forest

As promised here are some pictures of the various fibers we dyed at the Color 3 ways workshop.  These are group efforts, except for the skeins.  We did roving, skeins, locks and silk hankies (no you don’t use them with your nose). Beautiful colors and fun times.  Enjoy!

Still to come – fabric dyeing and the big reveal of the eco scarf.

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