And how about all of those other areas of experimentation? I was once a weaver and a spinner, and I first learned to print and dye textiles because as a student, I was printing large etching plates on canvas. From there, I wanted to alter the surfaces on which I printed, and I started weaving. I was living in a geodesic dome in the lovely countryside surrounding Bloomington, Indiana, where I went to school. We hoisted the 300 pound Kessenich loom up a ladder and into the dome. We were crazy kids. In one of my first dye baths there, the water turned clear. That’s never happened since. It was a good thing, too, because we didn’t have running water. The pump froze and cracked during a wickedly cold winter. I was discovering how in love I was with the world of fiber.
Resists have always fascinated me. A resist is a substance or a mechanism used to prevent dye or colorant from acting upon a surface. My very first experiments with resist were done in high school art class. My teacher was more interested in discussing politics, so I taught myself how to do batik using paraffin. Although batik was a favorite, I found removing the wax to be a tedious and expensive process when a dry cleaner was used. This post shows samples of other resists: dextrin, potato starch, cassava, and Japanese Tsutsugaki with rice paste, as well as discharge.
In the previous post, I described needing a storage container and finding myself immersed in sorting through a career’s worth of textile samples and explorations. Here is Part 2 of this archive, stitched and clamped resists on cotton and silk, using Procion MX dyes. This is a tradition more popularly known as tie dye, but it stems from a rich textile heritage that is very considered and carefully made.
The day began with a search for a larger container to store fabric teaching samples. It ended with a journey through 35 years of creating fabrics. I had already edited through these samples in previous years. It’s a convenient time to do more. Consolidation and simplicity are freeing.
So many studio directions I’d forgotten about! Pathways through handwoven and warp painted textiles. Through silk screened, handpainted pears that I was quilting for a commission on the day I delivered my first child. Playing with cassava resists. Discharge. Silk painting. Clamp resists and shibori. Odd little paintings and stitched, painted canvas. Pigment-printed cottons, and a few fabrics stiff with residual sodium alginate (not good.)
In recent years, more a mastery of layered fabric images and color, which you can see in the pieces on my website. Glad for that. In the several posts that follow, I describe a selection of samples and their techniques.
This is the third in a series of posts revisiting a treasure trove of textile samples made while learning new techniques. In search of a storage box, I found myself delving into forgotten experiments and exciting processes of learning. The other posts involved early screen prints and bound and clamp resists. These techniques have many names and fall under shibori and tritik.