Yosemite has been on my places-to-hike list for a while now, and when Yosemite Art Conservancy offered a shibori workshop in September, I immediately blocked my dates.This ‘Sierra Nevada Blues’ workshop was taught by Glennis a.k.a Shibori Girl. Though I’d already taken Glennis’ online class earlier, this was my chance to meet her in person.
Glennis brought her own shibori tools for us to use – a personalised arashi pipe-turning device, kumo and makiage hooks and a stand. The wooden stands are definitely more beautiful than the stainless steel ones I’ve seen.
Glennis is very patient when it comes to explaining things (she did mention her prior teaching experience with children!!). She answered every query and we had a lot of those. She was generous with her aobana and the katagami stencils (gifted to her by an elderly shibori artisan in Japan). After the first session, we were free to use the stencils and aobana to mark additional fabrics.
During the workshop, I decided to stay focused on stitch resist – ori nui, mokume and maki-nui. In the past, I have had a series of never ending woes when it comes to stitch resist dyeing. Problem 1: my stitches never turn out tidy like the ones I see on Pinterest. Problem 2: the threads would snap when I’d pull them up. Problem 3 and the worst: my knots would come undone while dipping.
I wanted to use this opportunity and time to improve under Glennis’ guidance. Ergo, a lot of practice.
The thread Glennis suggested was perfect; real sturdy, not too thick AND locally available (I’m not mentioning what the thread is, because these little tips are part of a paid workshop)! I still struggle with knotting but at least the threads don’t break during the process.The last day I also attempted ombre-dyeing but that’s for a later post.
These are some of my stitching samples.
And here’s Glennis’s tribute to the Sierra Nevadas, a hand stitched, resist-dyed Half Dome!