Recently, I signed up for a ‘Dyeing for Crafters’ workshop at the South San Francisco Recreation Centre. The workshop was more of an open studio where we were provided the tools, materials and instructions for various surface design techniques like silk painting, indigo or natural dyeing, felting, shibori etc. We could,
a. follow the scheduled project for the class / or
b. take on projects of our interest / or
c. do both!
The classes are taught by the seasoned surface design artist, Joy-Lily whose work been exhibited across the United States and internationally at Germany and China. Most of my co-participants were long time Joy-Lily students and I admit I was a little intimidated when I saw some of their work on Day 1. However, the lovely ladies were so friendly and encouraging that I was at ease instantly. << I kept telling myself, “This isn’t a competition.” But more on my Type-A behavior and associated problems later… >>
I don’t have prior textile or dyeing knowledge and I knew I’d be making mistakes. So, I chose less expensive fabrics like light/medium weight cottons, silk habotai and some old tees to experiment with. I decided to stick to indigo and worked on shibori techniques like Itajame, Arashi, Kumo, Komasu.
The silk habotai was definitely easier to manipulate and the indigo resulted in some beautiful shiny blues. I understand now, why silk seems to be the fabric of choice for a lot of dyers!