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Showing posts from December, 2014

New Warps, New Camera Lens, New Year!

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To paraphrase the old cliche: I don't know much about photography, but I know what I like. And I really like my new "Nifty Fifty" lens that my children gave me for Christmas.

All I know about photography, other than a class I took back in the day, is that a digital SLR takes the best photos because it has the most powerful sensor. That and something I learned from Rachel Biel of Rayela Art, founder of TAFA, the Textile and Fiber Art List. When I joined TAFA, she looked at my Etsy page and made a valuable comment: While my photos were good, they could be even better if they had a shallower depth of field. This would highlight the garment and make the background all out of focus, both literally and figuratively.

How to do this? I had no idea, as I had learned about photography back when you manually set your own F stops and shutter speed. On the new digital cameras, I hadn't a clue. So I asked my son, a professional filmmaker and videographer (visit Jake Kovnat at Son…

Scenes from a Class on Shibori with Natural Dyes

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Two samples of arashi shibori on cotton by Joan Rusitzky,  using osage orange (gold color) and indigo.
"Sawdust, Leaves, and Bugs: Shibori with Natural Dyes" is the full name of the class, a workshop I taught over the weekend at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center. Students brought in cellulose fabric (cotton, linen, rayon, and silk) for dyeing in three different vats: osage orange (for golden yellow), cochineal (for magenta) and indigo. We also did some discharging of dyes, using RIT Color Remover.

The results were wonderful. Students went from vat to vat, clamping, tying, stitching, folding, and otherwise creating shibori resists that allowed colors to blend or contrast in a number of patterns.

Above: Barbara Mauger dyed a silk scarf, beginning with a base of osage orange  (made lemon yellow because it was simmering in a copper pot),  then clamping with spiral forms and finally dipping in an indigo vat.  The red color on the lowest spiral comes  from a bit of old dye that w…