Tuesday, June 28, 2011

all about color

Work samples by my wonderful classmates.

Colors are not always what we perceive them to be. A piece of dyed fabric can look pale and unassuming on its own, beige and boring. But accompanied by another pale shade of cloth, both pieces may come to life. Color is on my mind, after this past week's natural dye workshop with Rowland Ricketts at Shakerag. I had a wonderful time, catching up with old friends (you know who you are), meeting new ones, and getting to know Rowland who is an amazing artist – generous, knowledgable, and fun.

Something is brewing.

Black willow bark samples hung to dry.

Towering trees everywhere.

Rowland's beautiful silk yarns.

The lovely compost pile.

My first attempt at shibori.

The focus of the class was the natural local landscape, and the colors we can gain from it. We were encouraged to collect plants that were either plentyful or invasive, and then by using japanese inspired dyeing techniques and mordants we managed to produce a wonderful range of soft (and sometimes not so soft) shades of cloth, yarn, and threads. I am much inspired and ready to fully make these natural dyes my own.

Documenting and organizing.

My finished samples. I love the range and the hues.

Friday, June 10, 2011

beach, boys, and books

We are heading east for our annual family beach vacation next week. It will be extra special this year with everybody back home, happy and healthy (thank you for all your well wishes). Can't wait to join the boys in the surf, cook, chat, sip wine, and catch up on my reading. Then the fun continues as I return to Shakerag for a week of work and learning with dye master Rowland Ricketts. So it will be a bit quiet here for the next few weeks. Happy summer!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

self image

This post is out of character. Most of you know me as a quiet, relatively shy person not eager to bang my chest or loudly brag about my work. So a post filled with images of myself may seem a bit odd.

Recently I have had a few requests for portraits and images of my work, which explains why I decided to have some professional photos taken of me, my studio, and most importantly my work process. Charlottesville photographer Sarah Cramer Shields was the perfect person for the job. Within minutes most of my self awareness and nervousness vanished and the session turned into fun chatting about life, work, dogs, and art. Sarah is a wonderful photographer, probably most known for her imaginative wedding shoots and portraits. Her documentary photo style makes all of her assignments shine. As evident here. Thank you Sarah! 

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