Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tangled and Confused

Lately I'm reminded of Mom tapping her head with her fist in her 40's and 50's, chanting, "Gosh, brain, work! You are so stupid!"; all too often I'm feeling exactly the same.

Tuesday night, I got more information on the two workshops I am attending Sept/Dec. India Flint workshop info was simple; we had to vote on what we want to do:
  1. The Windfall Wayfarer - hand sew a multi-pocket garment from salvage textiles, embellished with stitch, plant colour and stories. ie bring 3 or 4 pieces from your wardrobe [or the opshop] in compatible colours if you don't want to dye em or undyed for colour magic afterwards.
  2. The Feltquilt - Undertake daily windfall walks, dyeing strips of fabric to be used in a tri-layered, pieced, stitched, quilted, and ultimately fulled textile whose colours will reflect those of the Lud Valley, (the venue of the workshop.) The pieced cloth will grow organically day-by-day as the dyed fragments are added, before a gentle wet-fulling process is applied on the last day.
I voted for 1. I wasn't sure what salvage textile was, (because at first I read "selvedge",) but no worries; my friend Nancy once told me her friend's experience of India Flint workshop was one long Artist's Date, so I'm fine not knowing.

Two hours later, I received the Needs List for Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada's Boro workshop. This remains an enigma. I still don't' have a clear idea about this workshop, but the Needs List read more like a shibori workshop, (gloves, mask, PVC tubes, etc,) than I had expected. What a relief! Further down the list I came across "vintage material scraps as per Boro description..."

There we go again, "as per Boro description". I enquired, and Deb the coordinator sent me a link to the same video clip, so I surmise Ben's old jeans, old cotton and linen shirts, and maybe some wool watches I can weave between now and then would suffice. But having to ask many questions and never getting a straight answer makes me feel old and stupid. Either the answers are clearly in the instructions and I'm just not picking them up, or I'm so behind the times it's expected everyone knows all this. Not just in this case; confirming stuff over and over in other situations to the other parries' annoyance.

The list also included "sewing kit : embroidery or darning needles, fabric scissors, embroidery cotton and silk threads for dyeing or your preferred contrast threads," so there is still stitching/piecing/quilting involved.

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I've been gazing at this blog by Jude Hill for months. Though her work is her own, I was hoping her pictures will help me in both workshops, (especially the Wada workshop,) where a substantial amount of inspiration and spontaneity is called for.

As well, last Friday I got some more remnants from Jill Alexander, plus I dismantled and cleaned the beads from the latest purchase. I love ornate fabrics with different embellishment techniques, (embroidery + beading being one of my favorites,) and always wanted to do something, but I couldn't see the point if I didn't know the end use. For a change, I won't worry about end use and give it a go, because I know sometimes some of you work like this, (I'm not calling it "backwards" any more,) and end up with something spectacular.

* * * * *

On Golden Ratio vs Silver Ratio; I thought I'd make up interesting examples, but I haven't had the head space for it, so here are Prof Mitsui's illustrations. He says we, "Japanese", like to use the Silver Ratio, particularly in architecture and interior, but we also like squares, and use the Golden Ratio in other places.

I've had enough of Japanese textiles for now. Some are nice, some are not, but they are not what I want to create/recreate, so besides reading the Mitsui book, I'm staying away from all that in the next little while. Here is, however, a blog in English I found last year for those of you who like it.

* * * * *

So what have I been doing? I started weaving swatches in various structures on my Weird Warp. I'm enjoying how the painted areas are coming through, but don't like the too-vigorous rinsing I did, (the warp feels so dry!,) so I won't be weaving a proper shawl from this warp, only more swatches for shibori practice. And I learned that I don't like weaving pale colors; it's excruciatingly... pale!

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