Sharing the journey

Blogging about my creative work has helped me to feel less overwhelmed by what I am doing, and has also given me a sense of movement in a forward direction. What has been most useful to me is that, in writing about and photographing my work in progress, I see more clearly that some parts of the work come easily, even effortlessly, bringing great pleasure and sometimes a feeling of peace, while other parts intimidate me, and as a result I avoid doing them if I can. This has brought me squarely to the realization that I need to push myself to do more of what intimidates me, either by creating scaled down 'practice' pieces or otherwise approaching the work in a way that is less overwhelming but still allows me to grow both technically and creatively.

Since starting this blog I have also been in somewhat of a 'reading frenzy' of artist blogs. This has been both fun and a great learning experience. What has struck me most is the openness with which many authors share their work, thoughts and lives. In this and my next post I'll point to artists who openly share the way they make their one-of-a-kind hand made fabrics. I'll also update this post as I come across new tutorials.

Fabric Dyeing

Someone who shares a tremendous amount about how she makes her hand dyed fabrics is Melissa of Fabric Dyeing 101 who has documented everything she knows about fabric dyeing as well as the business side of things.

Melody Johnson, fabric dyer, art quilter, painter and teacher has a few posts at Fibermania about how she makes her hand dyes along with photos of the different processes she uses. You'll find a link to one of these in her sidebar titled "The Lazy Dyer". Hey I didn't know you could dye fabric like that! Or simply search her blog for the word "dye" to bring up more dyeing related posts loaded with photos, ideas and great tips.

Freida Anderson at A walk in the woods, walks you through her dyeing process with some nice photos to make everything crystal clear.

Sophie of Artstitches shares photos of her dye sessions on flickr. Sometimes all it takes is clicking on a blogger's flickr badge (you'll often find this in the sidebar of the blog) to find an endless stream of photos which visually document that person's work in progress. Once you've navigated to the blogger's main flickr page, also called their photostream, click on 'Tags' and choose whatever suits your fancy. In Sophie's case you'll find photos on "dyeing", "embroidery", "batik", "needlefelting", "weaving" and more. Yes, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words (or at least a few hundred) as in this photo (among others) that Sophie posted on her flickr account and tagged "dyeing":

Hey I didn't know you could dye fabric like that! And since this photo also belongs to Sophie's Procion set, you know she's using fiber reactive dyes and probably cotton fabric. Try a search on her blog with the word "dye" to bring up her dyeing related posts.

Lisa Call puts a link to her tutorials for dyers under the Featured Posts heading in her side bar titled "How I Dye Fabric". It's an information rich post where she includes links to more handy information such as "An overview of my dyeing process", "Information on the fabric I use", and "Information on the dye and other chemicals I use and more on the process". It's all there for the taking. At her blog New Work and Inspiration Lisa has also been writing up a storm about her journey as a quilt artist. Her work is interesting and very bold. Her pieces have a lot of movement and high contrast as well as a ton of lines, which criss-cross and intersect, created first by her piecing and then echoed in the quilting that she lays down afterwards. Lisa made me laugh recently when she wrote 'Being an artist is very expensive.' I was actually hoping I could someday make a career of it. Smile.

Joyce Vance of elliebellie has written an article called Crackle Dye on Fabric on Paula Burch's website. It's a fully loaded tutorial with lots of great photos. Visit Joyce's website to see her textile, paper art and other unique creations.

Paula Burch's 'All About Hand Dyeing' pages are not to be missed. Here's a list of some of the other tutorials that you will find there:
L Carlene Raper's website Colorquilts has an entire section on the techniques she uses to create her cotton hand-dyes. Just click on the fabric dyeing techniques link in the sidebar. Also check out her studio archives where she documents how she creates her hand-dyes as well as her quilts and fiber sculptures.



Entwinements is the blog of Karren Brito who shares much of what she knows about the Japanese art of shibori. Karen's exquisite silk scarves, shawls, jackets and other art wearables are on view here. Her blog includes many tutorials sharing her craft, including: How an ENTWINEMENTS scarf is made (in 6 parts). For more tutorials click on Shibori technique in the Categories list in the blog sidebar. There's more than enough there to keep a dyer busy for several decades. All the tutorials come loaded with plenty of scrumptious photos.

glennisd has some nice shibori tutorials at Shibori Girl. Some are listed in the sidebar under Top Posts. glennis also started the flickr pool all things shibori, an evergrowing collection of work by shibori artists around the world. Her photographs of her own shibori work, like this one, are truly gorgeous.


Check her out on flickr. Shibori girl also links to the World Shibori Network where there is some good stuff under the headers 'technique' and 'world traditions'.

Tricia Mckellar
is a shibori artist with a digital twist. She is making some very unique and interesting quilts that she writes about on her blog NOTE 99. She outlines the process she uses to create her quilts under process & techniques in the 'Categories' sidebar.

If you know of links to other dyeing tutorials please feel free to leave the information in the comments of this post. Next time, I'll post about some other visual artists I've 'met' online who write about their journey and making their art.


joyce said...

this is such a wonderful post! i think i'm going to be up all night exploring all the links!

i have an itty bitty tutorial on crackle-dye (low immersion dyeing) included on paula burch's website. since you already have a link to her, you may not need to link to it as well, but i wanted to mention it. it's located at: http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/Guest/crackle_dye.shtmljo

juanita sim said...

Hi Joyce,
I'll add a link to your crackle-dye tutorial in my post since I couldn't find it easily from any of Paula's hand dyeing menus or instruction index. BTW, I don't consider your tutorial "itty bitty". It's well written and complete with lots of great photos to boot! Thanks for reminding me about it.

joyce said...

oops. i garbled the html. that should have said:

it's located at: http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/Guest/crackle_dye.shtml