I’ve been meaning to share with you some of the scarves I made before Christmas but I. Have been having computer issues and avoided doing this on my ipad. I’m still waiting on the computer so here I am trying to configure this post on a little ‘gadget’. These scarves shown here are a collection of silk ones I constructed myself as well as some simpler silk and silk/ wool blends which I purchased pre-hemmed. Most of the plant dyes used are local here in the Kootenays and include goldenrod, St Johns Wort, black walnut, onion skins and contact/ dye prints of coreopsis flowers, cottinus coggygria leaves, acer( maple) leaves, St. John’s wort, cosmos flowers, oak leaves, rhododendron leaves, strawberry leaves, some windfall lichen. I used a few exotic dyes on some pieces, including madder and logwood. Techniques used are vat dye baths, contact/ Eco dye printing, screen printing, ‘itajime’, clamped block resist , a shiborI technique. I used a variety of beautiful silks, crepes, habotai, raw silk, charmeuse.
I have been slowly putting some of my natural dyed and printed fabrics together into scarves with ruffles and pockets.
The colours on this piece I found extremely difficult to capture in a photo – it just does’nt do it justice – the sheen of the silk and the subtle colours I’ve used here are not showing as they should. This scarf is made of silk habotai with raw silk on the other side. Dyed with walnut husks, eco-printed and screenprinted with logwood and walnut husks, this scarf has a drawing of a nude screenprinted on one side. It can be worn with her showing or turned inside. The ruffled anemone printed edges appear on both sides of the scarf. I have always maintained drawing as a core practice and have especially liked life drawing. Using some of my drawings on garments has been an idea I’ve had for a while. I plan to make a series of these.
The first of my Seedpod collection of soft fibre necklaces are ready to share with the world. They feature the first of my six new pod and blossom screenprint designs. All are hand dyed, screenprinted and stitching is done by hand and machine. Fastenings are made with handmade loops and beautiful mother of pearl buttons.
More designs are in the making featuring poppy pods and other seedpods. I wrote about my inspiration for these designs here: Autumn’s Inspiration for Design.
I have a long history with insects in my art. It was many years ago in South Africa when I was doing a three year college art program that I first became fascinated with insects. Just across from the art school was the local museum. Many times when I became frustrated with whatever I was working on in the art studio, I would walk across the street and spend time alone in the quiet halls of the museum. I could be found making drawings or just contemplating in one of two places: the beehive with it’s busy little bees buzzing and working in their hive, or the dragonfly display cases. I loved to sketch the dragonflies even though many of them looked like they had crash landed and were rather mangled. I made a whole series of dragonfly etchings (intaglio and drypoint), whimsical drawings of dragonflies with helicopter wings. Some of these in fact became my first designs on textiles when I started with block prints years ago. I have since then created many textile screenprinting designs of butterflies, bees, dragonflies, beetles, moths and grasshoppers.
This newest design of a bee in a tulip is inspired by the bees in our garden. We keep our own beehives for honey and pollination of our large flower, fruit and vegetable garden. These sweet natured and hard working little creatures are my constant companions in the summer garden. I am fascinated by their strong curiosity – they love to investigate every nook and cranny they encounter. They play ‘hide and seek’ with me in the flowers, rocks and straw in my garden.
This organic cotton fluted skirt has been dyed and screenprinted by hand. The “Bee in Tulip” design has been printed in light blue round shapes created by using a shibori technique called itajime. Itajime uses clamped blocks to resist the dye leaving a pattern when the clamps are released.
This dusty pink and light ochre hand dyed linen cuff has a screenprinted design of sweet little bees on a cosmos flower in silver textile paint. There is a pretty shibori trim running down each side. The pink I have used here is almost identical to the actual colour of the cosmos flower.