Monday, October 17, 2016

Fabric Dyeing

I’ve recently begun Art Cloth Master Class, a demanding and rewarding three year course with Jane Dunnewold.  While I’ve worked extensively with color and fiber, I’m a dyeing novice, so this class is a stretch for me.  We work in all area of surface design and I’m delighted, if sometimes frustrated, with all I’m learning.

First off, I needed to set up a wet studio – fancy name for an outside dyeing area just on the deck outside my sewing area.  With that done, and fabrics, dyes, and paints ordered, I began my assignment.  After over 100 dye pots later, I learned that very, very frequent stirring and careful weighting down of small fabric pieces are needed to obtain any sort of consistent color when combining dyes.  Perseverance paid off – finally!

Dyeing samples done at last! Four fabrics: 2 silks, linen and cotton. All dyed in 55 different combinations of 11 pure color mix dyes.

New England Quilt Museum

I’m so delighted to be included in the Confluence show at the New England Quilt Museum!  Two of my latest larger pieces are on exhibit:  Convolutions and Overpass.

In Convolutions I took inspiration from the work of aerial photographer Tom Lamb.  The dusty tacks he photographed emphasize the impacts of drought in our area, making me focus on the convoluted set of responses this drought has inspired.  Hence, the title.  Again, I’m fascinated with the process of expressing these ideas in elegant, reused fabrics.

In Overpass, I challenged myself to work in larger scale.  Again focusing on the drought, I explored the masses of concrete dedicated to containing non-existent rivers. 

This was featured in the entrance!


Ideas come from all over.  Travel in New Zealand gave me lots of ideas, as do inspiring works of other artists.  I look forward to launching off from these images into pieces of my own.

Bonnymeade, CA

Kelp and rocks

New Zealand fishing nets

New Zealand floats

New Zealand lines

New Zealand pancake rocks

New Zealand traps

Wood or stone in silkscreen (unknown artist)