Friday, 10 April 2009

Magic Stitches Part 2

I've undone the stitching on my dry shibori pieces: this is how they are looking now, before they get washed throughly and ironed.

I used running stich in rows, running stitch on pleats and box pleats, and chevron stitch. Dye was painted on with sponge brushes once the stitches were tightly gathered. I used indigo blue, turquoise and magenta. It is interesting to see how the colours have blended, taken and been resisted on these pieces.

I want to play more with shibori/stitch resist. I have a length of pipe tightly wrapped and bound with string over calico ready for dyeing. Yesterday we bought some curtain lining/interlining fabric, which was wound onto a tube to transport home. I was surprised to find myself requesting the plastic rather than the cardboard tube offered, so I could then reuse it for this purpose. This then necessitated an explanation to my husband and to the lovely sales assistant in John Lewis, who had never heard of either this kind of dyeing nor this kind of recycling, but was intrigued. I'm wondering about clothing applications for this form of dyeing.....
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Saturday, 4 April 2009

Magic Stitches Part 1

I was totally thrilled to meet a blog pal in the real world today, at the monthly meeting of the Avon Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers where Tiggy Rawling ran a workshop on shibori and dye painting. It's probably been a year since I last got to a meeting, my health having been so rotten since, but I was pretty determined not to miss this one, even if I wasn't at my best. I'm so glad I managed it: it was a very good, informative and enjoyable workshop and Tiggy as as lovely as I'd anticipated.

Here are Tiggy and Elizabeth discussing some of the lovely stitched shibori that Tiggy had brought along as samples and inspirations.


Oooops, Blogger has been transposing photos again. In case these are still not in the right order, Elizabeth is modelling the white lab coat, Tiggy's in both the photos and me - I'm the other one!

And here's a picture of Tiggy and me,which I'm thrilled to have! Pictures of what I did will have to wait as the two samples are batching in a plastic bag, while the pole wrapping I started is waiting on me finding some more string to complete it.

Thanks to Tiggy for the excellent workshop and to Caroline for taking the photo and organising the programme which included this session, and to Avon Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers for hosting it.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Breathing Spaces

I've been very preoccupied and occupied with a big project.


I've recently been working on costumes (designs and realisations) for a dance performance of a newly commissioned work entitled "Breathing Spaces". It's being performed at the Youth Dance England conference at the Mermaid Theatre tomorrow, and I was able to attend the dress rehearsal yesterday.


The whole project has been developed over a space of a mere six weeks, so creating designs and costumes for 34 performers has been intense and a challenge. The project is based around our community and features 32 children from the village (attending the primary and community comprehensive schools) who belong to the Yeo Dance 09 Group


Most of the costumes involved refashioning t-shirts, dyeing and space-dyeing them, cutting them up and recombining them with additions of t-shirting, muslin and other fabrics in earth colours. These were then further embellished using fabric paints and sequins. Each costume was unique but related to all the others.


I was lucky enough to receive practical support from a dozen mothers from the school (including the headteacher's!), not all of whom had children taking part in the performance. They came and volunteered their time, and we enjoyed exploring the capabilities of fabrics, sewing machines and ourselves over four days in total, with the volunteers coming in when they could.


These are some photos from the dress rehearsal in the school hall, to show some of the costumes in action.


In the background is Elizabeth Glen, who was instrumental in developing the music for the piece as well as adding her glrious voice to the performance. She is wearing the silk wrap which I made, dyed in water/river colours.


The theatre performance will take place against a backdrop screen, on which will be shown a film made of the dancers on the Millenium Green, our Breathing Space. I have not seen this but the Artistic Director, Carolyn Savidge, is thrilled with it and describes it as breathtaking. I hope that the whole project will be performed locally so that we can celebrate the effort and creativity of everyone involved.