Nine Lives Studio - Ellen Miffitt
Sumi-e, Collage, Mixed Media, Watercolor Pencil, PMC Jewelry, Block Prints and Art Instruction


(posted on 18 Sep 2016)

Still didn't get around to correcting/posting the mixed media collages but the exterior of the house is 98% painted in one week...
I beat the two days of rain over this weekend!!!
Saturday I facilitated a Shibori class with ten very enthusiastic participants. Shibori is the Japanese style of dying fabric with Indigo dye. I prepared sample after I canned 19 jars of Bread & Butter pickles... was up to 3am finishing the samples and getting the materials ready ... so today I rested and made lots of Shibori pieces.
general items to use when pinching/binding the fabric.

cotton, silk or hemp fabric - washed first to remove sizing. Then fold and use string and elastics to make a design - very controlled random of course

whoops - fuzzy image - plastic clothes pins and wooden blocks

silk scarf wrapped on a pvc [plastic] pipe and tied with string... then compressed/slide down to bunch the fabric. I need a bigger diameter pipe. you'll see why later.

soak in clean water to wet fabric before dying...

remove excess water

Indigo dye - mixed at least one hour before dying - notice bloom on top of dye.

remove bloom before adding fabric - add bloom back after finished dying...

pieces floating in the dye vat

remove pieces about twenty minutes in the dye vat - remove bindings and expose the material to the air. Air is the catalyst that makes the green liquid turn to Indigo.

as I was undoing the bindings on other pieces you can see the green turning to blue here...

after unfolding the cloth, the air is still reacting with the dye. that green will turn indigo.

silk scarves removed from dye

square silk scarf - notice the white area... that's why I need bigger diameter pipe because about half didn't dye.

same for the long scarf... I could re-wrap and dye the white side.

this is a large square cotton "towel" - next you rinse in plain water then wash with soap to stop the process...

That's what I did to day as I recover from dangling off the ladder painting my house last week....

Tomorrow I make salsa and can it... and finish the 2% house painting if its sunny!
back to writing my story