I don't know where to begin! This weekend gone has been really got the creative juices flowing and the information intake in overload. After the previous instructional day it was time to jump in and start creating. I was keen to to some more Shibori but was mindful that this is something I can likely do at home. So instead I decided to play around with hand dyeing. This appeals to me in a way that pigment printing doesn't (screen printing pigment onto fabric was offered as one of the three techniques taught at this workshop). Dyeing the fabric actually changes the molecular makeup of the fabric. It becomes part of the fabric rather than sitting on top of it like pigment does. More than this concept blowing my mind, I remaining conscious of the reason I began this journey. I want to make products that are beautiful, ethical and therapeutic. The gold standard for me is to use silk. To put pigment on silk would not have a great aesthetic (in my opinion), but it would also be heavy and thick, therefore counteracting the soft and therapeutic qualities of silk that I want to champion.
My first lesson is identifying how dye reacts to mixing with other colours creating various "bleeds" and "halos". The degree to which the dye bleeds is hard to control. Unfortunately I ran out of time to experiment fully with the Manutex to increase the thickness of the dye and reduce bleeding.
The incredible shine and vibrancy of this yellow is hard to communicate through my iPhone camera. I would love to try a better colour tested and large-scale version of this.
Above is the result of my testings but on silk. As expected, the bleed of the dye was high, but the colours were brilliant. I am yet to steam and rinse this piece for fear of the dye running. If I had to do this piece over, I would attempt to control the black (which appears blue here) dye bleed with Manutex or opt for a gentler colour so as not to overpower the beautiful yellow and oranges in the background.
I definitely took a deep dive into experimentation. While others in the class rushed around trying to finish final products to take home, I was keen to make as many mistakes as possible with Jo on hand to show me the way. I also created some strong monochrome pieces and one gorgeous Shibori scarf. That is for another post!