Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Studio Series: Vat dye & Shibori workshop

The preparation process; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
Lately I've been itching to get my gloved hands and some fabric into an indigo vat, so I took a class through Needlework. Roisin Fagan taught the class, and man oh man is she a great teacher. Roisin reminded me of my best yoga instructors who not only taught the poses, but also gave us information about anatomy and how the poses and our anatomy work together. Roisin shared the "anatomy" of dyes, laundry soap, and other stuff, a.k.a. chemistry. Even though I have years of textile education and experience under my belt, I learned a lot. If you have a chance to take a class with Roisin, do so. She is calm, organized and is an excellent communicator.

It's been a long time since I dyed with indigo, so I was pleased to refresh my skills. Roisin taught us various mechanical resists (clamping, sewing, tying). She also brought three vat dyes in jade, gold, and black. In the above picture you'll see the before images. I pieced a few hexagon clusters to over-dye and I brought some ugly fabrics to transform. In the above image, you can see the tied circles fabric before dyeing (dusty green fabric in the 6 o'clock position).
Vat dye results; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
I really like how the dusty green (not my favourite colour) picked up the indigo. Roisin taught us how to tie the small circles. If I take another shibori class, I'll prepare several fabrics ahead of time with the tied circles. It's time consuming but worth the while. In the above image, the tied circles fabric is in the 8 o'clock position, just below the jade green striped fabric.
More vat dye results; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2012
Four people, including myself, took the class. In the above photo are the results from the class. Black vat dye on linen is gorgeous. Maybe I'll try some vat dyeing in my garage next summer. It's temperature sensitive and stinky, so for the sake of my hubby and visitors, I won't try this in the house.

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