Posts tagged “Eco-Dyeing

Exhibition: Interwoven V…Houston, TX USA

Juror Mary Welch has selected several of my handwoven and hand-dyed garments and accessories for inclusion in the upcoming Interwoven V exhibit. The exhibit will take place Oct. 19-27 at the 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX USA. Please join us at the reception on Sat., Oct. 19, 6-9 pm.  Come and meet a fabulous group of fiber artists!


Interwoven V, 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX USA

Exhibition: HAFA Gallery Show…Houston, TX USA

Gallery Show Announcement

Please join us at the upcoming Houston Area Fiber Artists (HAFA) juried gallery show, October 23-November 10 at Gallery M Squared, Houston, TX. I have several pieces in the exhibit and look forward to seeing you at the reception held on Oct. 26!

Gallery Show Announcement

Falling Leaves in Yanbaru…

Chirimen Maple Scarf_1_saturate

High in the Yanbaru Forest, the Sango Kaku leaves fall…

Yanbaru Sango Kaku

Sango Kaku leaves in the Yanbaru Forest, northern Okinawa Island – Japan

yes, the colorful maple leaves fall…

Chirimen Maple Scarf_2_saturate

onto the silk they fall…

Chirimen Maple Scarf_3_saturate

painting their colors on the chirimen walls…

on my scarf they do fall…

Chirimen Maple Scarf_1_saturate

fall, fall, fall…downunder

Scarf Festival

My Yanbaru scarf now lives downunder…sold at the National Wool Museum Geelong, Australia exhibition hall…a new home where my Sango Kaku leaves now fall…

The Transformation

I’m so pleased!  My hand-dyed piece, “The Transformation”, in the Focus on Fiber 2012 exhibit was sold at the 18 Hands Gallery on Friday.  I was provided with the contact information of the person who purchased my artwork, and I’m looking forward to an opportunity to meet her sometime soon!

“The Transformation”

Exhibition: “Focus on Fiber 2012″…Houston, Texas USA

The Houston Area Fiber Artists (HAFA) juried exhibit  “Focus on Fiber 2012″ will open this week in Houston, Texas USA.  My hand-dyed shawl, “The Transformation”, was juried into the show by Sally Sprout.

My cotton chiffon shawl underwent 3 phases of botanical dyework conducted in the U.S. and Trinidad, West Indies.  The botanical plants utilized included Ryukyu indigo (Ryukyu Ai) from my studio garden in Houston, TX USA and hundreds of fallen flowers from trees in the Queens Park Savannah in Trinidad, West Indies.  A sneak preview (photo) of the shawl is included in the exhibit invitation below.  We welcome your attendance at the reception and gallery show.

“Focus on Fiber 2012″ Exhibit – Reception September 22, 2012

Exhibition: “The Art of Fiber” Exhibit Poster

I’m so, so pleased.  Yet, I am humbled too.  My Ryukyu Ai (indigo) dyed silk shawl was included on “The Art of Fiber” exhibit poster.

My shawl was created utilizing an ancient method of fermenting indigo leaves common to Okinawa.  I grow the Ryukyu Ai (indigo) in my studio dye garden.

I see that my silk shawl is in good company.  It’s located next to a wonderfully sculpted fiber fish.  What better place to be?

Exhibition: “The Art of Fiber”…Lorton, Virginia USA

Just in time for the holidays, The Workhouse Arts Center presents the exhibition, “The Art of Fiber” from November 23 – December 31, 2011.  The exhibit is a celebration of  “the beauty and creativity of the fiber arts”.

I am so happy that one of my hand-dyed shawls was juried into the exhibit by jurors Candace Edgerley (adjunct faculty member at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC and President of the Surface Design Association) and Trudy C. Van Dyke (independent curator and fine arts consultant).

I dedicate this showing of my Ryukyu Ai (indigo) dyed silk shawl to my fiber arts mentor and Obaa-san (grandmother), Nae Higa.

“The Art of Fiber″ Exhibit – Reception November 25, 2011

My Uwa-Pari

I planted Ryukyu Ai (indigo) outside my studio last Spring…the plants are healthy and the time for gathering the leaves for fermentation dyeing is drawing near.

However, last summer i grew oh soo impatient…so, i picked some leaves and bound them in vintage Japanese cotton cloth to extract the pigment.  Thereafter, i fermented the cloth replicating the process for making a Ryukyu Ai dyepot.

The result was a cloth with an abstract design…dark circles were imprinted on the cloth around the Ryukyu Ai leaves.  And, a blue hue saturated the remaining cloth…

I decided to incorporate the dyed cloth with some bingata fabric.  Here is My Uwa-Pari.

My Uwa-Pari

Eco-dyeing across 3 continents…

I learned traditional dye methods in the Ryukyu Islands, located in the southernmost Prefecture of Japan.  Ryukyu dye methods have been practiced for many, many centuries.

As i continue to learn dye methods originating from around the world, the more i see common methods and themes.  The Ryukyu dye methods,  for example, often utilize saltwater or soy as a mordant.*  I’ve learned that many other textile cultures utilize the same mordants.

*Note that Ryukyu fermented dye processes do not always utilize a mordant.

Ryukyu pigments originate from local plants…hibiscus, fukugi, croton, and Ryukyu Ai (indigo) are some examples.  Often the pigments are “extracted” via fermentation resulting in a concentrated dye bath that can be used for months.  The pigments, on the other hand, may be used for many, many years in creating Bingata dyed textiles.  Since Ryukyu dye methods utilize the natural elements in the Ryukyu environment, i consider Ryukyu dye methods as one of many eco-dyeing methods.

India Flint, a talented textile artist, has created beautiful eco-dye surface designs utilizing local plants in Australia such as eucalyptus.  As i review her work, and the eco-dye work of many other talented textile artists, i’m fascinated with the possibilities of combining traditional Ryukyu dye methods with other eco-dye methods…

So i’ve been experimenting utilizing plants representative of the Ryukyus, Australia and North America…or “Eco-dying across 3 continents”…As i work, i’ve been fermenting the dye bath in a hot, humid environment just as i was taught in the Ryukyus.

Plants and resists were bound in cloth, placed in a crock full of rainwater and a piece of iron.  The crock was covered and left to ferment in a hot and humid environment (temperature varying from 85-100 degree heat) in indirect sun…the bundles were rotated and stirred every few days…fermentation occurred in 10 days, then the pieces were unbound and plant matter returned to the garden to compost.  Here are some initial sample results on vintage Japanese cotton cloth…

Sample No. 1

Note the blue dye migration of the Ryukyu Ai (indigo) from the bottom of the photograph below towards the top…yellow hues from coreopsis, brown hues from yarrow…black and dark brown images from resists (yarrow flower bundles) and iron mordant…

Ryukyu Ai, Coreopsis, and Yarrow.  Iron Mordant.  10 Day Fermentation.

Sample No. 2

Note the beautiful brown silver dollar eucalyptus leaves in the photograph below…yellow from coreopsis…blue hue at bottom of cloth from Ryukyu Ai

Eco-Dyes – Coreopsis, Eucalyptus and Ryukyu Ai.  Iron Mordant.  10 Day Fermentation.

Sample No. 3

Note the Ryukyu Ai leaf at the bottom of the cloth in the photograph below.  Can you see the associated migration of the blue Ai dye from bottom to top?  Note the brown eucalyptus leaves…yellow from coreopsis…dark brown from resists (metal binder clips)…light brown hues from yarrow…dark brown and black from iron mordant…white lines from elastic bands on the bound bundle…variable textures on left and right sections from croton leaves…

Ryukyu Ai, Croton, Eucalyptus, Coreopsis and Yarrow.  Iron Mordant.  10 Day Fermentation.

Now…there’s more experimentation to do.  Cheers to you!


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